Graduate Program


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Marjorie Worthington

Thesis Committee Member

Tim Engles

Thesis Committee Member

Robert L. Martinez


This thesis examines the works of Bret Easton Ellis, specifically his three latest novels: Glamorama, Lunar Park, and Imperial Bedrooms, and identifies the metafictional and intertextual elements in these texts. For my purposes, I am defining metafiction as fiction that draws attention to itself and makes the reader aware that he or she is reading fiction. Intertextual will be defined as elements in the novels that appear in other works of fiction. In the case of Ellis, he is drawing upon and reusing elements from his own fiction. These elements include characters that reappear in novels other than the text in which they originally appeared. This reappearance mirrors the characters' narcissism, defined as extreme-self obsession, which is enabled by the world of white male privilege in which the characters were raised. The movement of characters throughout the texts reflects their narcissism as they fight for attention within their own stories and within Ellis's oeuvre. This technique that Ellis is using by recycling his own characters is something I will be calling narcissistic intertextuality. I define this term as a form of metafiction where the reappearance of characters reflects the characters' narcissism.