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|“Fragments are the only forms
I trust” - Donald Barthelme.
The inherent anarchy of capitalist markets is absent from the linear forms of narrative fiction. The events in our lives don't fit the “Seven Basic Plots” of Christopher Booker. Life is a collage, informed by montages of memory. We are always becoming. The bourgeois construct of the novel serves bourgeois interests. There is no Everyman. Why not package yourself and take yourself to market? Genres are not species – they are not naturally occurring forms waiting to be classified. Do we want a world in which everything is entertainment? Each work should find its own form. A book is simply a collection of pages ; how many pages and what they contain should be a matter for the author and not a marketing department. Capitalism produces an illusion of choice ; there may be more cultural products but they reflect a narrow range of viewpoints. To paraphrase a song by Morrissey (“Panic”) : “The books that they constantly write say nothing to me about my life”. In my mind, “The Waste Land” by T.S. Eliot still provides a truer reflection of the experience of life in London than most contemporary novels. Samuel Beckett's “Breath” is usually staged as part of a package that forms a marketable evening in the theatre. Wouldn't it be better staged as the entire evening? Just think of the bar sales....