by Nathaniel Tower

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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