What is Post-Experimentalism? (Part Six)

by Nathaniel Tower

We’re exactly one month from the release of the Post-Experimentalism issue. To celebrate, we’d like to share a staff definition of Post-Experimentalism.

Today’s definition comes from the Managing Editor and founder of Bartleby Snopes, Nathaniel Tower. Here’s what he says about P-E:

More often than not, the “experimental” writing I’ve read has focused on form over story, sometimes at the expense of story. Sometimes the story is so deeply embedded in the form that the reader can’t even find it, so it becomes just an experiment in form. Post-Experimentalism is about story over form. Perhaps it’s a move back to something more traditional, but the effects of experimentalism are still there. There’s something different going on with the form that pushes it past traditional writing, but it’s underneath the story. Form becomes background, but it still is functioning in a major way that affects the story. The form is manipulated somehow, but not at the expense of story. And the story takes nothing away from the form. It’s a harmony of story and form.

For the record, I do not believe experimental writing is dead. Nor will it ever die. Writers will always experiment with form. And this is a good thing.

For more about Nathaniel Tower (and to read some of his work), visit here: Nathaniel Tower.

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