Monday, May 06, 2013

Minimalist Fiction (John Barth Quote)

It's interesting and informative to consider the various ways fiction can be viewed as minimalist that goes far beyond mere story length. 

 Snip from A Few Words About Minimalism by John Barth:

"Old or new, fiction can be minimalist in any or all of several ways. There are minimalisms of unit, form and scale: short words, short sentences and paragraphs, super-short stories, those three-eighth-inch thin novels aforementioned, and even minimal bibliographies (Borges' fiction adds up to a few modest, though powerfully influential, short-story collections). There are minimalisms of style: a stripped-down vocabulary; a stripped-down syntax that avoids periodic sentences, serial predications and complex subordinating constructions; a stripped-down rhetoric that may eschew figurative language altogether; a stripped-down, non-emotive tone. And there are minimalisms of material: minimal characters, minimal exposition ("all that David Copperfield kind of crap," says J.D. Salinger's catcher in the rye), minimal mises en scene, minimal action, minimal plot."


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At 4:47 AM, Anonymous Patent Box solicitor said...

Lots of good points, and reminding us that minimalism isn't just about the number of words.


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