Ben Lerner’s 10:04 : entropy and autofiction

  • Eimantė Liubertaitė Faculty of philology, Vilnius University
Mots-clés: Metamodernism, Autofiction, Entropy, Subjectivity, Identity


The present paper discusses the conceptual and formal effects of entropy in contemporary autobiographical writing by analysing the genre-defying novel 10:04 (2014) by the American author Ben Lerner and presenting it as an example of a metamodern autofictional narrative. Lerner blurs the boundary between authorial and fictional perspectives by presenting the reader with a meta-aware narrator whose resemblance to the author forces the novel to transcend the limits of fiction. Moreover, the aforementioned move seemingly echoes the sensibility of a new cultural paradigm – metamodernism, which exists on the grounds of oscillation between such conceptual extremes as irony and sincerity, and, more importantly, fact and fiction. Furthermore, the paper argues that Lerner’s work challenges the tradition of autobiographical narration by the employment of the concept of entropy: the narrator of 10:04 creatively utilizes inevitable disorder of perspectives and obtains a new sense of self within the practical possibilities of autofiction.

Biographie de l'auteur

Eimantė Liubertaitė, Faculty of philology, Vilnius University

Liubertaitė, Eimantė (12 March 1990), Junior Assistant and PhD student at the Faculty of Philology, Vilnius University (Lithuania), teaching in the undergraduate English philology programme. Graduated with honours from the aforementioned programme in 2013 and obtained a MA degree with merits in Philosophy and Literature at the University of East Anglia (UK) two years later, having received the Fitzmaurice scholarship. Currently working on a PhD thesis titled “Confessional Subjectivity and Ironic Distance in Metamodern Literary Memoirs”. Research interests cover classic and contemporary American literature, as well as modern philosophy, ethics, literary theory, and aesthetics.