Wednesday, November 28, 2012

As a whole, this class has certainly widened my scope for interpreting what should be considered an experimental novel.

I would like to acknowledge (in a very concise and non-explanatory way) why these texts seemed experimental to me.  Women In Love felt experimental because of its obsessively verbose descriptions and constant character contradictions. The Waves felt experimental because of its heteroglossic narration and intermittently cryptic descriptions of nature. Voyage In The Dark felt experimental because of its repetition and Anna's disturbing complacency. Loving felt experimental because of its simplicity, its emphasis on low-life as opposed to high-life, and its fascination with gossip and observation. The Golden Notebook felt experimental because it forged relationships between several narratives, asking us to reexamine the importance of traditional structure. Molloy felt experimental because of its lack of plot, contradictions, and its fixation on a perplexing interiority. Crash felt experimental simply of because of its plot--a distanced portrayal of wildly unorthodox fetishism. Never Let Me Go felt experimental because of its undeniably intentional simplicity and unreliability in narration.

None of these texts are experimental for the same reason(s), but they are still very much worth comparing because they share several overarching themes and means of existence. The power of these themes is not contingent on what method they are presented with and the universality is bolstered by their diversity.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. I felt that "Women in Love" read much more experimentally (if one could say that) than the novel "Crash", which had a more conventional style; however, "Crash" was much more experimental in regards to pushing the boundaries and morality of society than "Women in Love".

    If anything, this class has taught me that it isn't that easy to answer the question, "What is experimental?" As you said, the number of novels we read over the semester are all experimental in different, yet similar ways. Entering this class, I wasn't too sure what "experimental" entailed, but I felt that it probably had to do with the writing style the author used in the novels; however, after reading noels with a more conventional style (such as "Crash" and "Never Let Me Go"), I realized that it wasn't that easy; experimental has to mean something more than just the way the novel was written.

    While style may be a simple approach to determining whether a work is experimental or not, it obviously isn't the only factor. On thinking about the different novels we've read, a common thread between them is the criticism society, the darker sides of it, the image of a less than picture perfect life, and many from the point of view of those who are alienated or ostracized from society in some way. But if that is what makes something experimental, then a large number of published novels fall into that category. Do we count all of those novels as experimental, too, or is there even something else that connects all of the novels we read and makes them experimental?

    I feel like my post is a very rambling response to yours, and for that I apologize. This is a hard question to answer.

    (I also apologize for this late post; it completely slipped my mind).


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.