A Comment on Bizarro

imgres.jpgA few years back I discovered the new genre advertised as Bizarro Fiction. It was very uneven but showed brief glimpses of true originality and exuberant fun. I suppose the ratio of good to bad writing in Bizarro are about the same as any other form of fiction so it’s really not fair to judge the entire genre by the amount of tedium it generates: after all, people still read Science Fiction (for whatever reason).

At one time there was a small enough base that I actually began to create an academic bibliography of Bizarro authors and Bizarro works. One of the things I ran into, however, was an inkling of doubt that Bizarro was really sufficiently different in its definition from other types of writing. For instance, could Tristram Shandy be considered Bizarro literature? The best “definition” of Bizarro I ran across was when Carlton Mellick III (Bizarro’s Optimus Prime) stated that no one was writing the stories he wanted to read so he decided to write them himself: the result … Bizarro fiction.

images.jpgBack in the early days I stocked up on the more well-known Bizarro  authors. Although I have lost some interest in reading Bizarro, I still toss a new title into my reading every month or so, usually in association with the Experimental Fiction group (XFX). Generally I am quite pleased as it is an enjoyable break to escape the heavy prose of Nineteenth Century tomes, but I just read (or possibly re-read) one of the early titles, Razor Wire Pubic Hair by Carlton Mellick III.

It sucked!

Possibly for the same reasons I get bored so fast with Science Fiction, Mellick’s prose was a rotating litany of a limited number of words selected for shock value (I assume) but after the loop of fuck, vagina, penis, pus, rape, cock, cunt, colonoscopy, goes by for the thirteenth time, the reader is more numbed than shocked. A giant vulva on the wall is possibly bizarre but if it’s humming the tune of a Peggy Lee song, then it might be considered Bizarro. Then again, is it that different from Audrey?

Here’s the plot of Razor Wire Pubic Hair: A multi-gendered screwing toy is purchased by a razor dominatrix and brought into her nightmarish lifestyle of deranged sex and mutilation. To put it another way: fuck, vagina, penis, pus, rape, cock, cunt, etc.

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