Experimentation in Fiction

Let’s face it, fiction that reads like an essay from the Oxford of the industrial revolution is boring.

We write and speak in such a beautiful language, a language that lends itself so readily to poetic metaphor, to phrases and strings of bound together words that can produce images with such life that we truly feel how green a verdant and glowing glade is– but even this example is basic and paltry. It certainly touches on the beauty of the language, but still leaves the greater body of the possibilities of English bound and gagged, tied to a rock to be picked apart day by day like some linguistic Prometheus. The true beauty comes with thinking beyond (beyond the beyond and the beyond that lies beyond it) to what is on the other side of that which seems flat, endless and impermeable.

The other day my little sister asked me the simple question: “What is beyond the sky?” My answer: “Space and everything in it, the planets and the stars, everything in the universe we think of when we watch Star Trek or Stargate. “But,” She asked– and this is the real kicker ~~>

“But, big brother, what’s beyond space?”

“A Mc Donalds and a parking lot” Kate Braverman says in her surrealist work entitled Near Death Experiences. “Then the final mall. And a sort of outdoor warehouse where a raw wind blows giant stacks of non-fire-resistant pajamas. The ones taken off the American market and sold in the Third World. Then the piles of blankets subject to spontaneous combustion. And the boxes of baby formula without the right vitamins. And the medicines with the known side effects, the ones that twist bones and incite cancer”

What is beyond space? What is beyond reality? Behind the words, the meanings, the way spots of ink fit together on the page to stain the mind with images. Why divide poetry and prose when the best prose is poetry? When you can tell a story in a sentence that blossoms with images, concepts, possibilities and sacred, individual meanings. “He woke to find the Dinosaur was still there.” Casares writes, and that is a story. “One night, I dreamed I was a butterfly.” Writes another author, forcing us to realize the meanings therein. Why a butterfly? Why not a dog, an elephant, a rat? Why not “Three afternoons in a row, I dreamed I was a cheese,” and even if that, what new meanings are trapped in this new and different sentence? We live our entire lives among the feathered wings of a beautiful, angelic (Engel-ish) language, a language that has as many possibilities on page as it does in speech, more now, more every day as meanings and use expand, as people experiment with new and different ways to put exact concepts, definitive feelings full of richness completely and totally in the mind of the reader.

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