Monday, 10 February 2014

Creating Something Novel

@LeeRourke brought this book to my attention on Twitter. It sounds great, about 'a man who begins to delete his novel'. I'll have to order a copy. What? It's a novella, I'll fly through it. What? The TBR pile falling on the dog last night? I reinforced the pile with coffee-table book bookends. Besides, the dog seems to prefer sleeping under the table now.

I'm also waiting for the postman to bring Chimera, by John Barth. Here's Wikipedia: 


Chimera is a 1972 novel by the American writer John Barth, composed of three loosely connected novellas. The novellas are Dunyazadiad, Perseid and Bellerophoniad, whose titles refer eponymously to the mythical characters Dunyazad, Perseus and Bellerophon (slayer of the mythical Chimera). The book exemplifies postmodernism, with several Q&A sessions and three diagrams, all in Bellerophoniad.


There's a bit of a renaissance going on in at the moment in Irish experimentalism, and I'm all for it. Literature needs its pioneers. I have my gorgeous copy of gorse's first issue (limited and numbered, so you'd better get cracking...); The Honest Ulsterman is coming back, online, this year; Colony is new, and accepting submissions of 'innovative and unconventional writing'.

Will I be submitting? I tend to steer away from — to paraphrase The Honest Ulsterman's Darren Anderson — the charade of writing which declares itself experimental (article on William Burroughs) — it hasn't gone well in the past. My plan is to keep reading, to keep asking questions, and to pay attention, because if novelty is to emerge, it will most likely do so organically.

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