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  1. #1
    K A Barnett
    Guest

    Experimental Fiction

    I am moving into this genre, cautiously <G>, and would like some advice. THanks.KAB



  2. #2
    Ele Thurman
    Guest

    Re: Experimental Fiction

    I've always wondered what this genre is all about? If you'd like to explain, I'm all ears.

    Ele

  3. #3
    Jen Nipps
    Guest

    Re: Experimental Fiction

    At one time, I had heard that experimental fiction & speculative fiction were interchangeable. Although, lately, I haven't heard experimental fiction much at all. My guess is that someone decided that experimental and speculative are two separate genres after all.

    ~Jen

  4. #4
    K A Barnett
    Guest

    Re: Experimental Fiction

    Ele, I'm still trying to figure it out Jen, thanks. I'll keep researching and will report what I find on it. Also, I'm seeing adverbs everywhere now. This in O Henry's "Gold...": "feelingly and finally" lol KAB

  5. #5
    Wallace Cass
    Guest

    Re: Experimental Fiction

    I'd be interested in what the definition of experimental fiction was. I always thought that it was like Stream of Consciousness writing or something.

    "Welcome to The Great Adverb Hunt." He said, sensibly, feelingly, and most of all professionally...... hehehehe

    Wallace

  6. #6
    Irene Rheinwald
    Guest

    Re: Experimental Fiction

    Okay, here goes. Experimental fiction: the weirder the better. Actually, experimentation in literature has a long history, and thus must be seen within contemporary contexts(ie, a work which challenges a particular era's established norms re: ideas and even presentation). In the eighteenth century, Lawrence Stern wrote 'The Life and Times of Tristram Shandy', which described a man's history - as he remembered it, not as it happened in chronological order, even including intrusions from the present. One minute, he's an embryo. Then a door slams downstairs. Then he goes on about people's 'hobby horses', or an early love affair. His carriage awaits. Then he is born. Early stream of consciousness, one might say. A fascinating, if difficult, read.

    James Joyce, of course, wrote experimental fiction: 'Ulysses' certainly defied readers' expectations on how a novel should be. Virginia Woolf also experimented with fiction, as did Evelyn Waugh and George Orwell. Experimental fiction eschews realism, particularly social realism, in favour of pushing this world's boundaries and perceptions. It is, by definition, new and unexpected.

    Moder experimental fiction can be quite extreme. One author wrote about an exploding typewriter by covering pages with random letters and symbols. One had holes cut into his manuscript to denote the merge of past and future. Other examples: simultaneous stream of consciousness narratives on opposite sides of a page, single letters randomly tossed across a page to indicate confusion, or ten page sentences without paragraphs. To me, this more modern art than literature. It makes a statement, yes, but much is (intentionally) left to the viewer's interpretation of the ensuing results. Sometimes, there are no characters, setting, grammar, or even plot. Detractors state extremely experimental writers are too self conscious, too anxious to impress. I tend to agree - how far can you take this without alienating a reader? However, any author who does something different, even if slightly, is said to be experimental - a matter of degree. IMHO, a few judicious twists on reality are intriguing. Actually, some of these writers forfeited extremism, having painted themselves into an aesthetic corner.

    Experimental fiction can include elements of surrealism, stream of consciousness, magic realism, fantasy, science fiction, whatever. It can defy form, as I illustrated above. It's not a clearly defined genre, being more a product of one individual's imagination than common experience. Yet, if accessible, experimental literature makes for a wonderful, challenging read.

    Did any of this make sense? It shouldn't - just the point.

  7. #7
    Irene Rheinwald
    Guest

    Re: Experimental Fiction

    Moder? Maybe I'm getting into the act. Modern, thank you.

  8. #8
    Wallace Cass
    Guest

    Re: Experimental Fiction

    All I can say is wow. Experimental Fiction sounds like the literary equivalent of societal anarchy or what happens when a word processor throws up.

    Wallace

    "I don't mind hanging out on the fringe, but I draw the line when someone asks me to buy real estate."

  9. #9
    Brian H
    Guest

    Re: Experimental Fiction

    Irene, I quite enjoy your informative posts.
    What, in your assessment, makes a book "accessible"?
    Any comments would be welcome and appreciated.

  10. #10
    Tovia Perls
    Guest

    Re: Experimental Fiction

    I always thought that when a publisher said they accept 'experimental fiction', it was a pansy way of looking at all those genres that don't quite fit into the marketing trend. Kind of like the way they take those poor homeless horror novels at Barnes and Noble and stick them on the fantasy shelves or in with the mutant aliens. In other words, THE ISLAND OF MISFIT GENRES.

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