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From what I gather, you are presenting a case for nonlinear, plots or a new way to present the novel, or even the short story. I agree, writers should attempt new paths, new visions (that's what makes the novel "novel".) But how does the novelist go about this without some starting point of time-honored technique? When I was reading your quote from Birkerts, I began to think of such fiction as Donald Barthelme, some of the broken narratives, the nonlinear plots. Still, even experimental fiction requires some traditional technique for it to be comprehensible. The experimental modernists--Joyce, Faulkner, Woolf, etc.--still had to make what they had written comprehensible. And does traditional narrative not show the world as "unproblematic"? That's what Birkerts seems to suggest.

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