Meaning of metanarrative in English:


Pronunciation /ˈmɛtənarətɪv/


  • 1A narrative account that experiments with or explores the idea of storytelling, often by drawing attention to its own artificiality.

    ‘Don Quixote is a work of fiction but also a metanarrative’
    • ‘In the wider postmodern literature, especially in Anglo-Saxon countries, the term metanarrative continues to be extensively employed.’
    • ‘On a metanarrative level, Ken Kesey himself confronted his personal Western heritage by the writing of Last Go Round.’
    • ‘These writers reject the metanarrative form, gravitating more toward densely sketched texts.’
    • ‘Spirits and specters do not only play an important part in Johnathan's story, they also operate on a metanarrative level.’
    • ‘Paul's narrative voice is strong, directed and almost completely unaffected by outside events - which sounds like a fantasist to me, at least within the confines of the metanarrative.’
    • ‘Her autobiography opens with an epigraph by Virginia Woolf that firmly sets this metanarrative within a matriarchal tradition of storytelling.’
    • ‘The crew and/or storyline pays homage to the original series, recognising the historical narrative, and appeasing fans' desires for metanarrative.’
    • ‘His text's highly metanarrative quality illustrates his process of understanding.’
    • ‘The double entendre functions simultaneously on the level of narrative and on the level of metanarrative, signaling both the possible threat to the character's life and the formal end of the poem.’
    • ‘She asked me if I knew of any good examples of metanarrative in comics or graphic novels.’
  • 2An overarching account or interpretation of events and circumstances that provides a pattern or structure for people’s beliefs and gives meaning to their experiences.

    ‘traditional religions provide stories that deliver a metanarrative about how we should live our lives’
    • ‘They are helping to shape a larger international utopian metanarrative of tolerance.’
    • ‘Each minority group is turning its own history into a metanarrative.’
    • ‘The original purpose of social and cultural history was to undermine the metanarrative of the rise of political democracy.’
    • ‘Charles stubbornly resists any metanarrative based on a wishful need to infuse a random and absurd universe with meaning.’
    • ‘The chastened rationality that typifies postmodernism is evident as well by the "loss of the metanarrative" and the advent of "local" stories.’
    • ‘Interdisciplinarity emerged as part of the protest against a metanarrative, but it never rejected history, as it rejects no discipline.’
    • ‘Popular fiction also provides us with a way of understanding the versions of our metanarrative - the 'story' of ourselves and our nationhood.’
    • ‘The capitalist metanarrative will promise freedom from poverty.’
    • ‘How can the Church bridge this gap between the Christian metanarrative and our own individual life stories?’