reading week 9

this week’s reading is in the form of what it’s attempting to describe, a collage. there’s little seemingly unrelated snippets all about form and writing. here’s a couple things that stood out of for me (I’m not going to lie, it was kind of hard to have anything stick when there’s so many little points) –

-that not everything in story has to ‘happen for a reason’ or pertain to causality
-shields suggests reading a book backwards to not get caught up in its structure (which seems a bit silly if the book was intentionally written with a clear structure and flow to begin with)
-shields seems to hate plot. plot is mentioned several times and condemned (also hates quotes, to quote shield, 353: “I hate quotations”)
-that ‘mosaic’ fiction is an evolution from narrative fiction
-shields believes that the act of ‘editing’ is the key to postmodernism
-shield affirms that ‘nothing is going to happen in this book’.. okay this is what really bothers me about the type of work we are doing. sometimes the key function of fiction (linear, non-linear, post modern, database, whatever form it is in) is purely to entertain it’s audience. audiences enter fictional worlds to escape the ones that they are in and to be sucked into a different universe. it seems completely underwhelming to an audience to be reading a story or work where nothing progresses or ‘happens’. you can’t get lost in a work that doesn’t have some sort of progression, it’s not entertaining to read a story where nothing happens. this sort of work comes across as extremely pretentious and self-gratifying for this reason. sure it can be entertaining piecing together the parts on your own or the parts in themselves can be entertaining separately but if you’re writing without the audience’s entertainment in mind (to some degree) and you’re hell bent on disappointing them with nothingness and lack of progression from the get go then it’s almost like saying “hey man, I don’t even really want you to read this, I’m just writing this to stroke my own ego”.



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