Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press

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R. A. Rubin

You can write without story. We can also mastrubate. Art is better with story and sex is better with a partner.

Dan Green

Exactly why is it that "Art is better with story"? No one's ever explained that to me.

Kevin Holtsberry

I guess I would see some of this experimental fiction as a way to open our eyes or get us out of a rut - help us see new things. But in general, if you take it too far it ends up absurd; removing meaning from the equation. Pure language may be interesting or even thought provoking but it rarely moves us the way stories do.


I have to agree with you, Dan. It's never been made clear to me why art is "better" with story. Where are the lines separating kinds of written art, anyway? If, for example, some people would like to reserve the use of the word "novel" for those works that do employ story, that is their prerogative, I suppose, but I can't be bothered to care, nor do I expect that I will play along.

Another point about music is that those who call modern music "not-music" seem to refuse to believe that others are moved by it. Those who do claim to be thus moved must of necessity be poseurs. Same with fiction. If you claim to actually like a certain "experimental" work you're just being pretentious. Sigh.


Wasn't this what Language poets were trying to propose, particularly with the "New Sentence"?

There are some interesting excerpts about narrative here by Nick Piombino (although I don't agree with all of the contentions). A compelling snippet:

[A]nti-narrative or nonnarrative aspects of texts put us in touch with some of the chaos which lies (closely) underneath the superficial order surrounding us in society.


Simile fix: "Art is better with story" is closer to "sex is better with a dildo" than to "sex is better with a partner."

I've also had my (self-evident) pleasure in modern art music and modern experimental literature denied. What can we say to someone who accuses us of such blatant and pointless falsehood? At that point, we've obviously left the realm of discussion and entered the realm of sheer bullying.

David Pitt

Well, I was feeling vain, so I googled myself and came upon your site. I'm glad you enjoyed my review piece! (I didn't say that much about literature because I don't know as much about it as I do music.)

P.S. I'm at Cal State Los Angeles.

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The Art of Disturbance--Available as Pdf and Kindle Ebook
Literary Pragmatism--Available as a Pdf