This article illustrates the move, from the mid-1970s onwards, away from a representational approach towards discussion of the metafictional aspects of Gald6s's novels; one could put together an excellent anthology consisting solely of such metafictional studies. In this volume I have limited myself to two: that by Valis (Chapter 14) and this pioneering piece, which remains an outstanding contribution. (Readers are also referred to Kronik's excellent 1982 metafictional study of Fortunata and Jacinta.) This article is particularly useful because it gives a brief run through Gald6s's use of metafictional devices in other novels. The explicit self-reflexivity of El amigo Manso made the novel a favourite with Unamuno, who modelled his own Pirandellian experiment Niebla (1914) on it. As Kronik notes, the self-reflexivity of Gald6s's work, which derives directly from Cervantes, makes him a curiously modern writer; it is not surprising that this aspect of his writing is the one that has most appealed to contemporary critics. The strength of Kronik's analysis is his emphasis on the double metafictional dimension of El amigo Manso: its narrator-protagonist's awareness of his fictional status, and his fashioning of the other characters into his own intellectual creations. Kronik is particularly perceptive on Gald6s's manipulation of the ludic potential of the self-reflexive novel, while at the same time stressing the relation of the novel's metafictional commentary to its critique of a society based on rhetoric and deception.