To Wear the Hat of a Meta-Fictionalist
I’ve long had a secret penchant for written word that extended beyond my love of literature. Finally, that love was shaking the foundations of my world, and I knew I had to pursue writing in earnest. After several months, I’ve decided to take on a new trajectory for the multiplicity of my written works: the meta-fictionalist. With this locus of thematic expression, I hope to provide a sense of cohesiveness for what may seem disparate at casual perusal.
There’s a standard dictionary definition of meta-fiction. We can think of it as interactive fiction: choose your own adventure stories and plays where the audience members become characters. However, for others, meta-fiction is the act of living stories. The creative act is transmitted via actions determined on situational variable analysis with the frame work of theater as a major influence. With this lens, people can rediscover their potentiality by engaging with the decision-making practice as a means of generating the trajectory of their own stories. They would then take steps that would lead to a desired outcome based on signs, symbols, motifs, and archetypes dwelling within the collective unconscious. Meta-fiction even plays out on the social stage as media spins the narrative of various political, economic, and social acts, transforming the objective to fiction.
The idea of meta-fiction might sound strange, but it isn’t new. Children perform life narrative segments in play via the imagination. So too do adults find themselves within this process without a full understanding of their own personal power over the narratives they enact. Some people may be complacent or perhaps “content” to glide heedlessly with the flow even if it’s a trickle in the basin of an unclean sink, yet re-envisioning their lives with the idea that it is a story being co-created, not just by the outer world but also by the inner-narrative, might break the toughest of those dominated by the subconscious or illogical mind. Within the social context, we need only to look at dictatorships around the world to see facts being distorted in order to control and shape the vision of the people within their jurisdictions.
Regardless of the context, perceiving via the subjective is perceiving via the realm of fiction. Everyone uses subjective reasoning at times, but the objective must ground that reasoning lest man fall into whirling insanity. At the same time, if we consider subjectivism as perceptual tool, we can recognize it as a means to fictionalize aspects of our own reality. Then we can look down into that and determine how the narrative is shaped or influenced. Since it is fictionalized if subjective, it is open to modification since it is malleable in ways the objective truth is not. If so, we can then attempt to transform the subjective narrative to one complimentary of objective truth rather than in opposition to it. This is true both on the personal and social levels. The hero’s journey is a useful tool for the meta-fictional process whether in the creative or social realm or the realm of personal development. Artistically authors could take inspiration from the real and fictionalize reality in to what it might be, could be, and so in. The creative process takes on a meta-level as the author makes exterior reality the basis of fictional choices and explorations.
This is the point where physicality and immateriality become one. Substance dualism, telepathy, and out of body experiences are also points where reality and the fictional may coincide; we may even call this point meta-physical. Think of the passing of time. It is the evidence of constant change, but more to the point, each person perceives it differently. One person moves through it quickly while for another it moves slowly. It is a metaphysical problem, on the one hand, as we seek to understand time as it is while, on the other, that aspect of perception is subjectivized and thus has an element of the fictional. This is not commenting on the soundness of the clock gears and its incremental forward flowing nature, but rather on how we feel its flow passing. Another example would be our perception of others. We have instinctual gut feelings about people sometimes that end up correct. These feelings interplay with traditional and accidental correspondences, their associations, and our own reactions to them, whether mental, emotional, or physical. All perception is thus filtered through the stories we create with the details of life. Most people use objective truth as the touchstones of their narratives though the exact percentage of objective truth people observe varies.
To recognize, discuss, and create within these facets of perceptual habituation is not to argue for apathy in the face of complex variables but rather to illumine the idea that we can create and change the stories we tell ourselves and enact, whether personally or culturally. By taking on the appellation of the meta-fictionalist, I endeavor to create writing that does just that. Won’t you join me on this written journey?