David Malouf’s Child’s Play and ‘The Death of the Author’


Child's Play is entirely textually oriented, a novel which takes its own development as its subject, its own form as its entire reality. The analysis of the place of fiction conducted in Malouf's earlier novels provides the departure point for an examination of the nature and history of fiction, of authorship, of readership and of textuality. The examination is conducted in three main areas, which overlap and interrelate: the tradition or history of the novel form: its nature; and a self-reflexive examination of itself, of Child's Play by Child's Play. The novel can be contrasted with Johnno and An Imaginary Life where the metafictional element is largely implicit and is subordinate to an overarching social orientation.

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Published 1 May 1988 in Volume 13 No. 3. Subjects: Narrative structure, Narrative techniques, Writer's craft, Writer's inspiration, David Malouf.

Cite as: Woods, Stephen. ‘David Malouf’s Child’s Play and ‘The Death of the Author’.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 13, no. 3, 1988, doi: 10.20314/als.87950f03ec.