the rigorous m

bits and bobs, quotes and catching up

Bellamy on blurring boundaries in fiction

Posted by rigorousm on September 7, 2012

Retellack talks at length about how surprise– both in and outside of art– delights us. It keeps thigns interesting, makes us feel engaged, alive. … Hell is an eternity of no surprises. … In our messy, complex world, traditionalists long for continuity, coherency, “for harmony, for smooth transitions, for the grand, clean sweep of self-assured narration, for the life that is the well-made story that is true to the life.” By aligning itself with “multiplicity, mongrelism, collisions of perception, intention, desire,” the avant-garde disrupts these longings for order, and frightened traditionalists turn nasty. … Before the abjection of a blurred genre the traditionalist feels faint. As when death infects life, when poetry infects fiction, identity, system, order is disturbed. The text stretches out before us, spasming and bleeding.


— Dodie Bellamy, “Crimes against Genre,” Academonia, pp 52-53.

[References to Retallack, Joan. “Writers– Readers– Performers: Partners in Crime.” Unpublished essay, 2002.]


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