Chromos

This may serve as a justification for the disorder
I have allowed to invade my narrative. In order to
preserve the sequence of Garcia's stories, I have
sacrificed my own. It is a good excuse anyway.

imgres.jpgIn the 1940s Filipe Alfau wrote his best-known novel, Chromos; it was published in 1990 and hailed as a prototype for the postmodern novel. Now I thought Tristram Shandy held this honor but I’ll admit that Chromos does benefit from a few of the postmodern tropes. Chromos also suggests the argument between the tenets of the New Criticism and the more modern literary scholarship that might explicate a passage based on what the author had for breakfast that day.

The blurb posted on Amazon is informative and succinct:

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Meta-Fiction Revisited

metaJulie Proudfoot posted an interesting list of metafiction by female authors on her weblog Proud Foot Words. Rather than just reblog I decided to repost the list and add some additional commentary concerning Meta-Fiction.

First, Julie indicates that Wikipedia defines Metafiction as a form of fiction in which the text—either directly or through the characters within—is ‘aware’ that it is a form of fiction. There’s an interesting problem even in this definition since it implies that the fictional characters are somehow separate from the text of the fiction. Does this make the definition itself meta? If you really want to expand on this theme, I recommend you read almost anything by Raymond Federman but specifically Take It or Leave It (Julie recommends Flann O’Brien’s At Swim-Two-Birds, which of course is one of the classics of metafiction).

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The Remarkable Raymond Federman

FedermanRaymond Federman is one of those authors whose personal story is equally as fascinating as anything most writers come up with. It’s so interesting that Federman uses it as the basic of most of his own writing, with one caveat: Federman insists that he cannot tell the difference between imagination and reality. So, this Federman who is the hero of all the novels … is he the real Federman, an embellished Federman, based on Federman, Federman-like, what Federman wishes Federman was, just a horny French Jew who tells a lot of stories?

The reality is that Raymond Federman grew up in Paris as a very recognizable Jew (he calls attention to his nose constantly) until the Nazis marched into Paris and he was initially hidden and eventually smuggled to the relative safety of Vichy France. His family—mother, father, and two sisters—stayed behind and went to their deaths in the Nazi camps. Raymond, of course, did not know the fate of his family and expected to be reunited with them in Paris after the end of the conflict.

Federman’s novel, Return To Manure, tells the story of his three years working on a farm in the south of France.

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Do You Believe In Maroon?

I recently stumbled onto an avid reader who openly stated that she enjoyed “poetic prose.” Is this like “military intelligence”? I unhesitatingly dashed off a snide request for an exact definition of “poetic prose” but to be fair, I knew what she meant and her opinion was reasonable, but her word choice was faulty: what she should have said was that she enjoyed “figurative prose.”

rhetoric

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