I would like to know if I understood correctly that "metatextuality / metareference / metareferentiality" are synonyms and can be used interchangeably. Finally I summarize what I think the their main functions are.

Short Definition

There is "metatextuality / metareference / metareferentiality" when the own medium is emphasized to reflect about language, narration structure and plot → “writing about the writing” → this is a typical feature of post-modernism.

Longer definition and functions

This is a quality of certain types of literature [certain book or movie is very “meta-fictional”] that seem to have two levels of dialogue going on at once.

  1. The text has a layer in which it generally proceeds as normal – it is a typical text.
  2. There is a second level of commentary in which the text knowingly comments on what it is doing. It calls your attention to the process of its own creation, or the text will knowingly get in its own way, constantly interrupting what it is doing.

What are the functions of metatextuality?

  • to be funny
  • to try to break free from old forms
  • to pose questions about the relationship between fiction and reality

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