[...] Derrida and Barth's goals are not to destroy what they regard as both illusory and indispensable notions, but to maintain their unresolvability, endlessly revoking, postponing the determination of meaning.
Here, in this endless cycle of affirmation and undermining, we can readily see that deconstruction and metafiction turn into forms of hyperreflexive irony. Barth's postmodernist metafiction is solely occupied with the ironic exposure of its own fictional structures. It cannot breach its obsession with itself, for it perceives its task as endless, and it cannot put anything--no positivity, no 'positive freedom' to use a Kierkegaardian term--in the place of that which it exposes. This results in what Wallace describes as scepticism and solipsism. Postmodernist metafiction constantly 'crosses out its own descriptions of reality, because they inevitably contain fictional elements,' Barth's fiction cannot express anything truthful about reality; it can only express its own _un_reality, its own fictionality. Wallace writes: 'It gets empty and solipsistic real fast. It spirals in on itself.' As a result, postmodernist metafiction can be seen as withering away into non-committal introversion.