Our Post-Experimentalism Issue has been shortlisted for the Saboteur Awards 2013. The issue is up for Best Fiction Anthology. Please cast your vote for us!
Thanks for the review, Rio Liang.
I had approached Bartleby Snopes’s special issue devoted to “post-experimentalism” unfamiliar with the genre. But finishing the 17 thematically-grouped stories that comprise the issue moved me no closer to a reliable definition; in fact, it rendered the genre, makeshift or not, more nebulous.
Primarily problematic is that one doesn’t quite get a good sense of what differentiates these stories from the usual arbitrarily grouped fare we see in most other reputable literary magazines. The lingering question, “What is post-experimentalism?” feels somewhat imposed and is more a distraction than anything. (Though I found intriguing the idiosyncratic definitions supplied by the individual authors and subsequently displayed by their stories).
That’s not to say the issue isn’t enjoyable. Stripped of the extraneous post-experimentalism plastic covering, many of the stories make for quite good reads in and of themselves. They are all concerned with the bizarre, more or less. Some don’t feel quite up to par…
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Ian Chung reviews the Post-Experimentalism Issue.
-Reviewed by Ian Chung–
Post-Experimentalism is the new project from the Bartleby Snopes team, and bills itself as the world’s first issue of Post-Experimental fiction’. This naturally raises the question of what constitutes post-experimentalism, and both the Post-Experimentalism issue and website offer up several definitions. Reading through these, two related threads emerge. One has to do with the belief that post-experimentalism blends – or even transcends – storytelling genres. The other is the notion that, as Bartleby Snopes Associate Editor Rick Taliaferro puts it, ‘Post-experimentation, what the writer owes to the reader is literary satisfaction’. So the pendulum of post-experimentalism swings away from formal and structural experimentation for its own sake and back towards story, to settle somewhere in their middle. Nathaniel Tower, Bartleby Snopes Managing Editor, describes this as:
“Something different going on with the form that pushes it past traditional writing, but it’s underneath the story. Form…
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