Guerrilla Fiction

Don't PanicTacked on to the end of Moxie Mezcal’s novel, Concrete Underground, is the Guerrilla Manifesto. This introduces us to the field of guerrilla fiction. I thought it would be interesting to consider the ideas behind guerrilla fiction and the experimental or transgressive fiction that is championed at XFX.

First, the introduction to the Experimental Fiction (XFX) section of ACOR:

This group started on Yahoo. It was designed to concentrate on the types of fiction that we do not normally find on the front rounder at the local big-box bookstore. We call it experimental fiction but it might be considered imaginative fiction, surfiction, and the many other designations that have been applied to fiction throughout the years whenever it doesn’t follow the rules of the mainstream.

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Conrad’s Preface To The Nigger of the “Narcissus”

ConradFor his early novel, The Nigger of the “Narcissus,” Joseph Conrad wrote a very interesting and thoughtful Preface. Not all editions of this work include the Preface so I want to share it with everyone.  The subject is art and the artist: in this case the writer. Conrad is a serious writer and this Preface should be read with the expectation of some effort and thought. Do you agree with Conrad? Do his thoughts fit in with more contemporary views of art and literature? Have you read The Nigger of the “Narcissus”?

Those readers that want to experience this work by Joseph Conrad are in luck: Project Gutenberg contains the text of  The Nigger of the “Narcissus” with the Preface intact.

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Houellebecq on Houellebecq

I have already commented on how much I enjoy the fiction of Michel Houellebecq (see) so I am having a wonderful time reading his novel, The Map and the Territory. The story is of an artist who starts as a painter with little acclaim, switches to photography and becomes famous. and then successfully goes back to painting. Along the way he decides to have a gallery showing and wants to enlist the author, Michel Houellebecq, to write the brochure for the showing.

So the artist flies to Ireland where the author is living and spends some time with him discussing art, painting, photography, literature, critics, and how the Pakistani owner of an Irish restaurant doesn’t know how to cook a gigot of lamb. This entire exchange between the two men, written by the real author Michel Houellebecq, is fascinating and it allows the author to make several statements about art and the art world while still in the context of the novel.

Of course, this is fiction and it is the fictional Houellebecq that expresses his opinions about art and literature.

I know from the cover blurbs that this is a mystery and the artist is going to assist in solving the crime. The reading is fast and smooth and I am enjoying the novel immensely. If you haven’t read Michel Houellebecq, add him to your list.