Haas Scholars

Sergio Mendez

Projecting the Self: An Exploration of the Stakes of Metafiction in Ben Lerners 10:04 Within Realist Contemporary Literature

Current Bio: After graduation, Sergio worked at a company that specialized in legal translations as an assistant project manager. He took some time off work to study for the law school admission test. Sergio later took a job at a nonprofit organization called GRIP Training Institute as an operations assistant. He hopes to retake the law school acceptance exam soon.
Haas Scholars Project: Metafiction, or fiction that is aware of its own artificiality, is often dismissed as gimmicky postmodern narrative pyrotechnicsa narratological gamble for any writer wishing to be taken seriously. Ben Lerners latest acclaimed novel, 10:04, asks its readers to reconsider the value of metafiction as it follows a protagonist named Ben who tries to expand a successful short story into a novel. Sergio will be using literary theory and critical analysis in order to uncover what Lerners use of metafiction says about contemporary literature, but also how this style of narrative creates an emotional connection with readers. Sergio will also be writing his first novel: a metafictional account of Sergio, a Cal undergraduate who faces the difficulties and anxieties of being a DACAmented student during a xenophobic presidential administration.

  • Major: English, Creative Writing minor
  • Mentor: Lyn Hejinian, English