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

COLLECTED ESSAYS ON LITERATURE AND CRITICISM:

EFN2

EXPERIMENTAL FICTION NOW


  • A survey of current writers whose work might be called "experimental." Includes a prefatory discussion defining terms, as well as essays on David Foster Wallace, George Saunders, Gary Lutz, Ben Marcus, Mark Danielewski, John Keene, Shelley Jackson, Steve Tomasula, more than a dozen others.
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INNOVATIVE WOMEN WRITERS


  • "I offer here no overarching theory about the nature or direction of innovative writing by women writers, although as I do note in several of the essays in the first section, there is a recognizable affinity among numerous current writers for what I am here calling 'fabulation.'" Includes essays on Rikki Ducornet, Aimee Bender, Noy Holland, Helen DeWitt, Eimear McBride, more than a dozen others.
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APF (2)

AMERICAN POSTMODERN FICTION


  • "Although the term has come to identify a general attitude toward traditional intellectual assumptions or, more specifically, discernibly related practices in philosophy, the social sciences, and all of the arts, "postmodern" was originally a critical label attached to an emergent group of American fiction writers perceived to be challenging established literary convention."
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Realisms

REALISMS

BSS

BETWEEN SILLINESS AND SATIRE:BLACK HUMOR FICTION


  • In the early to mid 1960s, an iconoclastic mode of American fiction that came to be called "black humor" presaged the larger movement succeeding it that eventually came to be known as postmodernism. This volume looks at the essential features of black humor fiction, with essays on all the major black humorists: Joseph Heller, Kurt Vonnegut, Bruce Jay Friedman, Terry Southern, and more.
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MANY WINDOWS: ON EXPERIMENTAL FICTION


  • Is a work of experimental fiction really an experiment? What was metafiction? Experimental fiction and tradition. New Romancers. Poetic structures. Fiction as performance. Varieties of experimental fiction.
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Angle

A WIDER ANGLE: AMERICAN FICTION AT THE PERIPHERY


  • Beyond the major publishers’ seasonal lists to out-of-the-way presses and lesser-known writers.
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« Authorities | Main | Going Feral »

08/06/2007

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Richard

To read the SF-partisans, I wouldn't be surprised to see Orlando claimed as science fiction (as written by a writer "using genre to further her literary worth") because of its premise.

In any event, you've hit on one of the reasons why I find this "debate" so tiresome. And I think realism to these readers means rather tautologically nothing more than, somehow, "not-fantasy" or "not-science fiction". It means fiction that "takes place" in the "normal world" (no clones, no time travel, no apocalypse). This has always struck me as a pointless way of looking at things. I think your characterization of it makes more sense.

I suspect that the writers you suggest as being "the important postwar, postmodern "artistic" fiction" writers are not, Nabokov aside, likely to be the same writers considered by those so wrapped up in this discussion as the important ones of the same period. But, regardless, given the terms of my second paragraph, they might for the most part be thought of as blandly "realist" anyway.

Jonathan Mayhew

Science-fiction and fantasy elements can easily be a part of experimental "literary" fiction: Vonnegut, Calvino, Barthelme come to mind. Not being realists in the first place, they are more open to genre fiction in its less realistic aspects, just as Auster is open to noir influences, precisely by not being a realist. So "artistic literature" is not dominated at all by an exclusion of fantasy.

Science-fiction is marginalized from "literary fiction," to the extent that it is marginalized, because it often doesn't aspire to be "literary fiction." Isn't that a simpler answer?

Mike Lerch

Just wanted to toss my hat into the ring: I'm an avid SF/F reader and especially enjoy Dan Simmons, Neal Stephenson, Neil Gaiman, Orson Scott Card, and William Gibson. I was recently introduced to Cormac McCarthy by a fellow SF/F/Horror fan who told me to read "The Road" as it was not only remarkably written but stood to him as the bleakest book he'd ever read. I read it and enjoyed and admired it tremendously, so much so that I looked for more of his work and read No Country For Old Men, which I also very much enjoyed.

Just wanted to say here's one reader who enjoys Cormac McCarthy as well as Dan Simmons and William Gibson (though I have to confess I'm not a big fan of Updike, lol).

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AODPurdy

THE ART OF DISTURBANCE: THE NOVELS OF JAMES PURDY

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THE LITERARY SPHERE: TAKING CRITICISM ONLINE


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THE IDEA OF LITERATURE


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LITERARY AESTHETICS

Lituni

LITERATURE IN THE UNIVERSITY


  • Inventing Literature. Performing Literature. Reading Literature. Theorizing Literature. Historicizing Litera- ture. Relinquishing Literature. Reclaiming Literature?
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LET'S REVIEW: BOOK REVIEWING AS LITERARY CRITICISM


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