Btb-front
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.
  • Free Pdf
  • Kindle Version
Iww

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.
  • Free Pdf
  • Kindle/Paperback Version
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."
  • Free Pdf
  • Kindle/Paperback Version
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.
  • Free Pdf
  • Kindle Version
My Post (6)

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.
  • Kindle Ebook
  • Free Pdf
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.
  • Kindle Ebook
  • Free Pdf

« Potentials for Literature | Main | Lost in Translation »

08/19/2008

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

E K

I know this isn't the type of post that will garner many posts, but it is appreciated and has motivated me into looking more into Mr. Millhauser. And I have added one of his books to my 'buy' list. A very thorough and welcomed post.

Jay Livingston

"artist figures perfecting their craft in their own visionary if idiosyncratic ways." Perfecting and pushing their creations to further and further extremes. But what's missing in most of these stories and even the novels is relationships among people. For Millhauser's artist-protagonists, other people are mostly an impediment, and the same seems true of the author. Millhauser's real passion is for the relation between the artist and his creation (miniatures, clockwork dolls, hotels, etc.). Human relationships seem like a distraction, necessary perhaps but not a matter of great interest or curiosity.

Dan Green

"For Millhauser's artist-protagonists, other people are mostly an impediment, and the same seems true of the author."

How would you ever know such a thing? Have you met the author? Had a beer with him?

In most of Millhauser's stories of obsessive artists (especially in "Franklin Payne"), the human cost of their obsession is made very clear. A good argument could be made that his fiction is concerned squarely with the toll artistic talent takes on "relationships with people." It's the price that has to be paid.

Jay Livingston

How would you ever know such a thing? Have you met the author? Had a beer with him?

I didn't mean as a person. I have no idea whether he prefers Bass Ale or Bud Lite, whether he spends his nonwriting hours alone in his woodworking studio or in intense conversations with intimates. I meant that what as a writer, he seemed more interested in the details of the artistic creations of his characters than in the details of relationships among characters.

You say that his stories are "concerned with the toll artistic talent takes" on human relationships. I said that in his fiction, such relationships were an impediment to artistic creation. So we seem to agree that an important element of the worlds Millhauser creates is the conflict between the two.

Dan Green

"I meant that what as a writer, he seemed more interested in the details of the artistic creations of his characters than in the details of relationships among characters."

This is true of many of his stories, although not all. However, I take this to be a descriptive statement rather than an evaluative judgment. That he is interested in one rather than the other merely indicates what kind of writer he is--not one who is going to dwell that much on "relationships between characters."

JDJ

Good tribute. Actually, in 1997 Millhauser won the Pulitzer Prize for MARTIN DRESSLER: THE TALE OF AN AMERICAN DREAM (rather than the National Book Award). The year before that the same novel was a finalist for the National Book Award but SHIP FEVER: STORIES by Andrea Barrett won.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Postmodern Confusions

AODPurdy

THE ART OF DISTURBANCE: THE NOVELS OF JAMES PURDY

Litsphere

THE LITERARY SPHERE: TAKING CRITICISM ONLINE


  • "In this volume I have included most of my substantial posts on the blog as medium, as well as literary culture online in general. . .They are presented in chronological order, from 2004 to 2019. I have chosen this arrangement because it shows the development of my thinking about online literary criticism and because it may perhaps be interesting for readers to survey the issues that arose as literary blogging itself developed. "
  • Kindle Ebook
  • Free Pdf
Tiol

THE IDEA OF LITERATURE


  • What do we talk about when we talk about literature? This volume explores that question by, first of all, looking "inside the text" at the dynamics of reading and the tangible effects of writing. It then moves "outside the text" to consider the relevance of social context and culture to perceptions of literature, as well as the assumption it is the writer's job to "say something" of political or moral value in addition to (even as a substitute for) creating literary art.
  • Kindle/Paperback Version
  • Free pdf
My Post (5)

LITERARY AESTHETICS

Lituni

LITERATURE IN THE UNIVERSITY


  • Inventing Literature. Performing Literature. Reading Literature. Theorizing Literature. Historicizing Litera- ture. Relinquishing Literature. Reclaiming Literature?
  • Kindle Ebook
  • Free Pdf
LR

LET'S REVIEW: BOOK REVIEWING AS LITERARY CRITICISM


  • A collection of essays considering the current state of general-interest book reviewing. Topics include: negative vs. positive reviewing, gatekeeping, writers reviewing writers, and criticism in cyberspace, among others.
  • Free Pdf
  • Kindle Version