Limit texts are a variety of disturbance that carries various elements of narrativity to their brink so the reader can never quite imagine them in the same terms again. Simply by being in the world, they ask us to embrace difficulty, freedom, radical skepticism. Who now? When now? It contradicts, takes back, digresses, undoes what it just did, forgets, lies, hallucinates gloriously. The language is abstract, disembodied, devoid of sensory data, grayish rather than painterly in texture. It might be helpful to conceive of what Beckett is doing as post-genre writing, then, or perhaps what Raymond Federman referred to as critifiction—a mode that blurs conventional distinctions between theory and narrative.
The aggregate produces a collage about the impossibilities of aggregates, the impossibilities of understanding fully, of capturing absences in language.
At times Nox feels less an example of what most readers consider a book than something closer to a three-dimensional work of assemblage art. How have your own positions within universities and university-affiliated organizations shaped your thinking about them and about innovative literature? I can imagine in many ways it might make you even more critical.
Easier said than done, of course, but an important life project for all who think of themselves as educators. In , I quit my full professorship at one institution precisely because of my disappointment over what had happened to the learning environment there. I had no intentions of reentering the field. In , however, the University of Utah approached me, and I found myself in an environment much more hospitable to the sort of work I want to do—teaching experimental narrative theory and practice. One could easily argue innovative writing and pedagogy represents the trace of the paradigm Barthes suggests, and that trace is tremendously productive in all kinds of ways.
Innovative writing has never and will never change the world in any large, macrocosmic way. The death of the parents. Home About Log In Register. Issue 2. Always, he felt it important to emphasize. Debord: In societies where modern conditions of production prevail, all of life presents itself as an immense accumulation of spectacles. Even bestsellers exist in a secondary position to the cultural italicizations of film, TV, the Web, the Xbox, the iPad, the iPhone. The world flies at us in bright splinters.
Japan: 5 of the top 10 bestsellers in were originally cell phone novels. Mostly love stories written in text-message-length sentences sans the plot or character development found in conventional novels. My ambition, Friedrich Nietzsche commented years earlier, is to say in 10 sentences what everyone else says in a book. What everyone else does not say in a book, he appended. I grow gnomic, announced Samuel Beckett in a letter. It is the last phase. What modes of writing, I wonder, what structures, what problematics, best capture how it feels to be alive in this instant, here, now?
What, in other words, feels like realism to us? What sort of writing currently answers the questions: Where are we I use the pronoun loosely , and who, and how? Every age gets the literature it deserves. The Facebook novel. The Twitter. A writer, Thomas Mann suggested, is somebody for whom writing is more difficult than it is for other people.
Stories you watch rather than read: Traveling to Utopia , e. Every story is the same story because every person is the same person. There is nothing new under the Ecclesiastes. Be happy. Be sad for a little while, obviously, sense the dramatic tension, but then be happy. Characters are plump people triumphing over adversity. Plot is pleasant arc. Language plain transparence. Now go back to sleep, please. Debord: Young people everywhere have been allowed to choose between love and a garbage disposal unit.
Debord: Everywhere they have chosen the garbage disposal unit.
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This is a true story. Whatever you write, Beckett reminded us, never compromise, never cheat, and if you plan to write for money or fame, do something else. Dan Brown. Stephen King. Danielle Steele. Amazing Race. Extreme Makeover.
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The purpose of art, Shklovsky maintained, is to impart the sensation of things as they are perceived, and not as they are known. The Hangover. Land of the Lost.
Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian. Bachelard re: art: an increase of life, a competition of surprises that stimulates our consciousness and keeps it from becoming somnolent.
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The McDonaldization, you could call it, of arts and experience in America. Washington, D. American Book Review. May—June Retrieved 18 May Archived from the original on 1 May Categories : Literary theory Postmodern literature non-fiction books.