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self- +‎ referential


self-referential (comparative more self-referential, superlative most self-referential)

  1. That or who refers to itself or oneself; used as a stylistic device when done in literary works.
    • 2017 October 27, Alex McLevy, “Making a killing: The brief life and bloody death of the post-Scream slasher revival”, in The Onion AV Club[1]:
      What makes Scream so effective, and so timeless, is that it’s both a winking and self-referential breakdown of the tropes of the horror genre and a nearly flawless embodiment of the same.
    • 1991, Edmund J. Smyth, Postmodernism and contemporary fiction, B T Batsford Ltd
      Many women authors extend the sort of metafictional self-scrutiny which The Golden Notebook so extensively sustains: Eva Figes's novels, for example, often raise self-referential questioning of their own representational validity and Muriel Spark teases several of her heroines with unsettling awareness of the process of their own creation.


Related terms[edit]