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ABSTRACT. The present paper is an attempt to explore the multiple-layered structure of A. S. Byatt’s Possession (1990).The author labels this novel as ‘romance’ and indeed it is deservedly so since the main line of action in the book centers on an ardent love affair going on between two academics and their desperate and painstaking attempts to secure a position in the competitive world of the academy, a point the novel is at pains to unravel and finally fulfill. Subsumed under this main rubric are many topics such as the pretensions and even absurdity of the academic interests, the exigencies of criticism and writing biographies, the relation between the past and the present and above all the author’s oblique and sometime overt irony and sarcasm of the secondariness of the whole critical enterprise. The book is exemplary in representing the tenets of metafiction and postmodernistic handling of the artistic material. As such a reference will be made to the innumerable allusions and intertextuality of other texts, both past and contemporary. pp. 87–101

Keywords: possession, critical, creative love, academic

SABBAR S. SULTAN
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Middle East University, Amman, Jordan

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