High Wire Act: Peter Carey’s My Life as a Fake

Author(s): 

Anthony J. Hassall

Journal of the European Association for Studies of Australia (JEASA), Vol.6 No.1, 2015.

 

Anthony J. Hassall

High Wire Act: Peter Carey’s My Life as a Fake

 

Abstract: This essay examines how Carey displays the multiple fakeries of fiction in My Life as a Fake. It notes the multiple inter-textual references to the Ern Malley hoax and the gothic horror of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. It examines the three unreliable narrating voices, the uneven characterisation of Christopher Chubb, and the magic realism seeking to animate Bob McCorkle and his present/absent book My Life as a Fake. It argues that the dazzling display of meta-fictional complexity, much celebrated by reviewers, contributes to the book's failure to create engaging characters and a credible narrative.

 

Keywords: fiction; fakery; meta-fictional complexity; inter-textual reference; unreliable narration; engaging characters; credible narrative.

 

[read more in the pdf]

 

Copyright © Anthony J. Hassall 2015. This text may be archived and redistributed both in electronic form and in hard copy, provided that the author and journal are properly cited and no fee is charged.

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