This, this

yes, this->
I’m finding that a lot of writing is categorized as experimental simply because it looks different on the page.  Too often, this work, while embracing a certain textural playfulness, still reads as either conventional or self-indulgent.  I think that truly experimental writing embraces innovation, a relationship of form to content, a consideration of the real possibilities of the text; it’s not just pyrotechnics, opacity, an attempt to shock, or a formulaic display of what certain writers and readers think experimental writing is supposed to seem.  I wonder if it’s too simplistic to say that truly experimental writing has behind it a writer who wishes to conduct actual experiments.  For some it’s structural, for some it’s rooted in content, for some it’s a conscious subversion of the mainstream.  For me, it’s formal and syntactical.  And too often the result is a series of failed experiments, which, in my opinion, is more satisfying than successfully following a formula.

this place

& I think that’s why I don’t like Bizzaro fiction- it seems to come from a place of pointless shock, of a Look at me mommy! Aren’t I being gross? attitude, and by doing so it doesn’t truly shock, but instead becomes exhausting, and numbing and not dissident at all


2 thoughts on “This, this

  1. Thanks for pointing this piece out. I agree that experimentation in some directions seems self-indulgent and counter-productive. I was thumbing through the OULIPO COMPENDIUM recently and thinking about how surrealism and some varieties of fantastic fiction resonate with each other. This came up at Readercon too, and not only at the Surrealism panel. Hmmm. . . .

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