“My text is no more than a pack of lies.” Fictional Pacts in William T. Vollmann’s Seven Dreams


  • Filippo Pennacchio Università IULM - Milano



Parole chiave:

William T. Vollmann, Fictionality, Paratexts, Historical Novel, Metafiction


The aim of the article is to ponder, from a narratological perspective, on the fictional pacts in William T. Vollmann’s Seven Dreamsseries, i.e., on the virtual contract through which the author gives the reader, whether explicitly or not, instructions about the way in which his texts should be read, and that the reader, in turn, should follow to coherently process textual contents. By focusing on The Ice-Shirt, the first novel in the series, I will try to demonstrate how such a pact proves to be a problematic one, especially in that, throughout the whole text, fictional and non-fictional elements are constantly blended. Moreover, my aim is to address how on the reader’s part a ‘flexible’ approach, i.e., an approach that recognizes and builds on such a compresence of elements, allows him to navigate a text that reveals to be hybrid in nature.

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Come citare

Pennacchio, F. (2019). “My text is no more than a pack of lies.” Fictional Pacts in William T. Vollmann’s Seven Dreams. ENTHYMEMA, (23), 82–97. https://doi.org/10.13130/2037-2426/11918



«We Should Never Write Without Feeling». Studi su William T. Vollmann – A cura di Giuseppe Carrara e Marco Malvestio
Ricevuto 2019-07-10
Accettato 2019-07-10
Pubblicato 2019-07-18