What is experimental fiction? What is the history of this aesthetic term, and how is it defined against more traditional modes of storytelling? Anne Boyer writes, “Genre weakens, explodes, collapses, restabilizes. It’s supposed to. It is always assassinating itself, and out of new blood, new versions arise.” In this four-session workshop, we will discuss short stories and novel excerpts that trouble the conflict-resolution model that we have come to recognize in contemporary American fiction.
What do we resist when we resist the formation of coherent literary subjects that seamlessly assimilate their realities using a logic cultivated by Western humanism? By experimenting with narrative modes that don’t adhere to the stylistic convention and formal strategies of fiction, we will broaden the horizon of what is possible in the space of a story.
This is a generative workshop, which means that each week we will spend the first hour of class discussing the assigned texts, and then move into writing exercises for the second hour. Topics we will discuss include narrative form, non-linear time, and voice-driven stories. We will read work by Amina Cain, Cristina Rivera Garza, Yoko Ogawa, Renee Gladman, Garielle Lutz, Lisa Robertson, and others.
2831 Mission Street, SF