Why the novel has turned to stone [or has it?]
Over on a site we’ve never heard of called Bookfox, they’re saying comtemporary fiction is still alive and swinging, even in postmodern form.
Or whatever comes after postmodern.
If you’re too lazy to follow the link, here’s a summary:
‘The novel is still interesting. Postmodern literature of lists and ‘did you know this about this?’ and referencing of wikipedia articles and using those articles as a character in a work of fiction. And etc. This still tells us about human beings.’
So all those books written by Foer et al are not fake.
Or are they?
The article runs into The Art of the Novel by that old non-czech Czech Kundera and says, ‘yes, novels should experiment, and the method of delivery, even if it is a series of lists copy/pasted from wikipedia, reflects an existence in the way that person chooses to exist.’
If you want to show the shitness of a character’s existence then just have them checking up useless info on wikipedia every night. It might not be much of a story, but there’s empathy there surely.
Or if you wanna show your character missing how life was when they were a kid, why not have a story about them watching old theme tunes of their favourite cartoons on youtube. Like Count Duckula, for example. Or even better…the raccoons.
This is fine.
The problem is the voice of contemporary authors. They’re all the fucking same. Confident, random, cynical. That’s the reason why most of these postmodern books are no good, why it feels like there’s no human being at the wheel. Because it’s on repeat. And how many more times can Palahniuk tell us about obscure things we think can’t possibly be true? [Krist, we feel sorry for that guy. He really is spent and there’s just no direction left for him to go. Unless he skips genre to fantasy or sci-fi? Could work, if he keeps a leash on second person. If he pretends he’s someone else for a while…or two other people, three even…and then writes from that position.]
But who are we to say this? Who is anyone to say it? That’s another problem. How do you call something shit when you’re not at their level?
Fuck it. I wonder who the next Robocop will be…