Monday, October 02, 2006

Daniel Green advances

... the discussion regarding experimental fiction: A Safe and Useless Place. (Hat tip, Dave Lull.)

This is a very thoughtful post - and I will have to think about it long and long. (By the way, since the question is raised: I would not myself brush away a work of fiction because it didn't conform to some notion of what I think fiction ought to be., principally because I don't have any particular notion as to what fiction ought to be. I am strictly latitudinarian when it comes to fiction, as I am with poetry: Fiction is what writers of fiction produce. There are a lot of different writers of fiction and so a lot of different kinds of fiction. But literary innovation faces the same hurdle that non-representaional art does: It's easy to do badly and very hard to do well. Kandinskys and Tobeys are few and far between. So are Becketts and Faulkners.)
I like the phrase "innovations in form" better than "experimental." But I should add that I do not believe in "progress" in art and while I think old forms need to be revitalized from time to time, I don't think they should ever be discarded (I know that the villanelle is still a useful form).

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