Beyond the Blurb: On Critics and Criticism. Published by Cow Eye Press
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I am intrigued by the distinction between novel and romance as it applies to postmodern fiction. I wonder if you could elaborate on the counterintuitive position that this is a peculiarly American tendency. My immediate thought is that modernism, in demolishing the idea of objectivity in narration, likewise demolished the idea of the totalizing vision. Most good novels since have, therefore, operated according to the principle of "selectivity" that you outline above. The argument that Pynchon et al. are actually working in a specifically American vein is provocative, but it's hard for me to square with what I know of the novel's history.

Dan Green

I have elaborated on this distinction, in my dissertation, which I certainly don't want to try to distill here. I have discussed the subject in past posts, and perhaps I will do so in future posts in a more expansive way.


Any thought as to how the short-story collection/ novel (Go Down Moses, Brief Interviews with Hideous Men) fits into this? Is a short story collection the equivalent of a novel made of short stories?


(Sorry for gratuity. Rereading your post it occurs to me that the description of Gravity's Rainbow and Infinite Jest as having "a belief in hidden powers", on a structurual level, nicely accommodates books like Go Down Moses also.)

Warren Adler

Very interesting post. What we have learned in a long career is that vast numbers of people yearn to express themselves, to tell their stories, and to share with others the fruits of their creative endeavors. The short story is the perfect vehicle to satisfy this urge.

Frances Madeson

I want to say something about how much I enjoyed reading this post, so ardent and so lucid, especially the section on romance. I want to venture this is why so many writers congregate here.

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