Innovative Fiction by David Detrich

Saturday, November 26, 2016 § 0

Innovative Fiction: Essays on the Innovative Novel, Big Sur, Surrealism, Art, Literary Criticism, and Philosophy 

An Introductory Essay by
David Detrich

Innovative Fiction: Abstract Composition with Books
The intense golden sunlight lights up my inner mind, as I relax in the yellow orange spiralling of red blue colorations within the blue green whorls of the color harmony, envisioned as illuminations of metafictional self-reflexivity defining the abstract composition of Rio beach chair with a display of literary books, which I perceive in the sun disc shadings of October brush stroke nuances with white cloud portraits emerging into visibility. The light of the mind represents my being in relation to the sunlight which heightens the warmth of life energies, as the fall season turns cool with green trees becoming intense color fields of yellow gold in intricate leaf patterns in juxtaposition with the crimson red auraglow of maple trees emerging from the Winsor & Newton artist color palette...   

an infinity of variations...   

     intensifying into vivid shades...     

           approaching the ineluctable...    

                  essence of artistic being... 

                               green lawn descending the hill...
                               
                                 northern pine trees on sandy red soil...

                                      the past seasons fading in memory...

                                the gloss of book cover textures...

                 reflecting soft light tones...

I notice the innovative novels stacked on my desk... becoming rectangular abstract simplified forms...   a geometry of squared shapes...   perspectives on the innovative metatext...   as I carefully read through the works which signify the complexity of life stories transformed into the art of white pages in a time lapse sequence of animated typography which enhances the pleasure of esthetic appreciation. The innovative novels gathered here represent fictional works which explore the novel as a plausible narrative artform written with valid characterizations in precise descriptions, which make innovative fiction a meditative reflection of reality. 

A valid characterization is true to life...     

  like the crimson red sky this morning...     

    intricate cloudwork of brilliant vivid energized red...     

       the characterization of self is that of a perceiver...    

           symbolic forms + / s reminiscent of rs...       

               60s style spacecraft with groovy bubbles...     

                    nearing the rectangular large spacecraft entry...     

                         the paleontologist with an angular look...     

                        a cap with long blonde hair flowing...    

                     in the style of Salvador Dali...     

               the ancient face with squared hat...

          looking through the clouds...     

  a saucer shaped hat with a round flat lateral view...     

the self is joined by a rock group...     

    the perspective is photogenic red cloudwork...     

         a novel like a cloud that changes...     

The innovative novelist is similar to a philosopher in the creation of a large work which shows mastery of the concepts of literature, and James Joyce has set the trend for modernism with his novel Ulysses (1922) which begins the section on Innovative Fiction. The large scale novel begins with the bard of Ireland, Stephen Dedalus, speaking with a medical student, Buck Mulligan, in the Martello tower while intoning the mass, and goes on to describe the events of a single day June 16, 1904 in detail, and continues with chapters which feature different modes of writing: historical, epic, poetic, dramatic, ending with the interior monologue of Molly Bloom written in unpunctuated prose. Finnegans Wake (1939) is another monumental novel which develops the historical mode of writing, having evolved out of the historical chapter of Ulysses, with language that is an expressionistic representation of a fairy tale reality. Innovative fiction has followed this modernistic trend with works which explore individualistic approaches to esthetic theory, often with a metafictional self-awareness of the fictionality of representation as an illusion of reality. When the novel becomes a presentation of reality, in the Husserlian sense, then it is drawing awareness to itself with typographic design and self-reflectivity.

           presentation becoming representation...

                      fiction evolving into metafiction...

                             reflections of light as self-reflectivity...

                         fiction expanding into the monumental novel...

                    a multiplicity of narrative techniques... 

             defining the 21st Century innovative novel...

The innovative novel is similar to our own perception of reality with an attention to detail that becomes a phenomenological processing of sensual perceptions which represent the subject matter of the literary composition...     an abstract composition with books...     A phenomenological reduction reduces the phenomenon of our sensory perceptions into literary form, and the techniques of this reduction become a form of realism, abstract expressionism, or Surrealism. I think of the novels in this abstract composition as works of innovative fiction, well crafted in style and structure, which are deserving of critical attention from literary students and theorists, because they represent a serious effort to develop the innovative techniques of novel writing. The art of the novel has become the-art-of-designing-the-novel-as-an-art-object by placing it in the context of modern trends of esthetic theory...   

a large horizontal format novel... 

          written in hopscotch squares...     
    
                with illustrations by Arshile Gorky...     
       
                    featuring meditations on psychedelics...     
      
                     a phenomenological approach... 

                  to the formality of the text...     
          
         the theology of readings from the sacred texts...

The red clouds dissolve quickly when I walk up the wooden stairs, and I look out the upstairs window where they have transformed into gray brush strokes...     as if they were a momentary illusion... this phenemonon represents the temporality of the novel in which the time of the narrative event is calculated as duration, and the time of writing about the event is also calculated as duration, so that these two durations are not necessarily equal in lengthIf event/writing = time in the novel, then this equation creates the relativity of time where the duration of the event and the duration of writing may vary, so that one could write a monumental novel about a single day of experience modeled on the reality of Dublin, as James Joyce has done in Ulysses (1922). This is the phenomenological description of sensory experience which becomes a monumental novel that hopes to express everything about the reality of an event where the details of the scene approach infinity. This expansive quality of narration is what I call the fictionalization of reality, so that one can expand a description of a single day, or the significant events of a lifetime, into a multiplicity of chapters. The fictionalization of events creates a way of comprehending reality, and appreciating the esthetic qualities of human experience, so that one can experience love for life, as a way of representing dialogue and interaction with others, that one would like to present once again to the mind to savor the nuances of concrete reality enhanced with the flavorings of semantic density. Fictionalization of poetic prose creates a further equation of bringing the conscious intersubjectivity of inner thoughts to the page which take on the novelistic form of the innovative novel, as new perspectives on describing reality become the continuing development of the narrative form into a work of fine art with the space of the page entering the field of visuality. I have included numerous innovative texts in the Innovative Fiction section of this book, beginning with James Joyce, and evolving through Samuel Beckett, Gertrude Stein, Anais Nin, Maurice Roche, Philippe Sollers, Nicole Brossard, Christine-Booke Rose, Claude Simon, Arno Schmidt, Marc Saporta, Julio Cortazar, and Ishmael Reed, Gilbert Sorrentino, William H. Gass, Raymond Federman, Ronald Sukenick, Matthew Roberson, Steve Tomasula, and Mark Z. Danielewski. These novels use the space of the page to convey typographical design, and began with the trend of theoretical fiction which uses linguistic theory as the subject for the novel, so that the innovative novel has entered the classroom as a genre that is worthy of consideration from young readers who are seeking works which exemplify the fine art of literary writing...     

     open structured novels...    

           where the novel is structured by the reader...    

                    a book-in-a-box...    

                           where the pages can be shuffled...     

                              close structured novels...     

                            with a determinate sequence of chapters...     

                       novels which use typographic design... 

                    to present a narrative...     

             creating the visuality of innovative design...     

        novels which are individualistic in approach...     

often written in poetic prose...

    the red clouds appear again in the October sky...

          with thick gray cloud layers that resemble...

                the smoke of burning oil wells from Mosul...     

                       the intricate pattern of reddish orange clouds...

                             extends across the sky...

                                   with a Salvador Dali woman's face...

                                         smiling through the abstraction...     

                                           with a central dark hat image...

                                          that appears to be a student...

                                     at his or her desk...     

                               a sophisticated woman with high heels...

                          is seen projecting upwards...      

                       with a fine geometric pattern...

                    appearing on her dress...     

                 similar to an Indian from Latin America...     

              resembling an artist's model...     

          the sky abstraction features reddish orange clouds...

     superimposed on textures of dark gray clouds...     

creating a modern art layering effect...     

    the grayish clouds look like sinister air pollution...

           transformed into blue gray shades...

                  with a half moon visible above the pine trees...

A self awareness of the text as a work of fiction creates the conceptual foundation of metafiction with new techniques of presenting a narrative to the reader creating a sense of novelty using innovative concepts of perspective creating  the visuality of typographical design affirming the definition of the innovative novel as something new. The avant garde has produced works which impress the reader with the creative imagination of the novelist to produce a novel which introduces new ways of perceiving the phenomenon of reality in a philosophical sense and to appreciate the text for its esthetic qualities which bring pleasure to the reading by satisfying the mind with the semantic density and literary quality of the fiction. Many of the authors in this collection of essays are Nobel Prize winners, who show a sincere dedication to innovative techniques in their careers as fiction writers, producing fiction which inspires us to show creativity ourselves as fellow writers as well educated readers as beginners just starting out.

As a literary blogger I would offer these book reviews for free, even when some literary magazines charge money for excerpts from novels stories poems interviews creative non-fiction essays and book reviews. The success of Innovative Fiction Magazine has been exciting with over 100,000 readers learning about the innovative fiction that makes life more interesting for those who would consider the valid characterizations the well crafted sentence structures the visuality of typographic design and the creative structural concepts for presenting the text. These essays are collected together in Innovative Fiction: Essays on Innovative Fiction, Big Sur, Surrealism, Art, Literary Criticism, and Philosophy, and are written in the short essay format which has enabled me to consider a large number of innovative works which represent a multiplicity of innovative forms.

My novel-in-progress Dream the Presence of the Circular Breast Starfish Topography represents an infinite regress of phantasm into eros which inspires the intricate narrative that intends to exemplify the visuality of its structure, and the Surrealist poetics of its prose style. The novel becomes an extended meditation on eros, a concept which Emmanuel Levinas has introduced in Time and the Other (1948) with a phenomenological analysis of eros as the satisfaction of desire, both in a sexual sense and as an appreciation of nourishment. The subject of my novel is eroticism that verges on the abstraction of Surrealist painting, so that the linearity of the narrative becomes vertical with the art image becoming more important than the action. This verticality is a way of transcending the mundane details of plot development in favor of a foreshortening of the linear dramatic action in an expanded narrative structure where the event = one year, and the time of writing expands to sixteen years, so that e/w = 0.0625. The horizontal structure of the novel has shown an expansiveness that balances the white space of the page with the density of the poetic prose which is presented to the reader as the black ink of the paragraph in a large horizontal book format. Temporality in the novel is intuited as an equation that time is passing in the presentation of a linear sequence of scenes with a timeframe that can be focused on a single event, or expand into a monumental structure like Bottoms Dream by Arno Schmidt which describes the conversations of a single day. 

The imagery of eros becomes an sequence of painterly abstractions that parallel the work of Arshile Gorky, Joan Miro, and Salvador Dali, with novelistic writing that suggests an implicit eroticism that is careful to respect the confidentiality of the nightlife characters. The presentation of typography as a work of art enhances the visuality of the page which resembles painterly abstraction with blocks of type perceived as a new artform for the paragraph appearing in vertical columns with alternating blocks of type which add dimensionality to the page. With the use of wood block type fonts the innovative novel has become a semiotic art space featuring signs that convey visual significance, so that the horizontal space of the page creates an asymmetrical equilibrium which further enhances the pleasure of the text with heightened moods of typographic expression.

I walk out into the front yard...

   and look upwards to the blueness of sky...

        where a mirage of white satiny clouds...

              are resolving into an image...     

                     a tall mystical figure is seated...

                         before what looks like a keyboard...    

                              he gradually drifts away...

                                     in slow kinetic cloud motion...     

                                  wearing an old fashioned gray jacket...

                               similar to Stockhausen...

                           he transforms into a standing image...    

                       from a distance a mystical woman...

                    holding a white flower...

                looks on at the keyboard player...     

             while I perceive the musical scene...

        elevated above the houses of the fall landscape...     

     which slowly evolves into white wisps...

 of drifting cloud...

       in a horizontal progression...

              of fine brush strokes...      

Big Sur Fiction: Mc Way Falls Abstraction

Meditative perspectives from the trail above McWay Falls / I look to the narrow waterfall flowing from the top of the elevated rockface ancientshower dreamstreaming onto the beige textured sand of the quintessential beach in the photogenic mindspace of the secluded cove. I think of A Confederate General from Big Sur which develops themes taken from the intertextuality of the subjective reading experience into a simultaneous synthesis of literary themes similar to the Nouveau Roman technique of generative grammar. An entire novel can be generated from the ideas of the collective unconscious which will use images from other texts to create a meta/text which is a text-of-all-texts that is composed of multifaceted reflections from other novelists. I prefer transformational grammar for my novel writing, which I consider a fictionalization of Surrealist descriptions that are based on art techniques and metaphor. Brautigan, Kerouac, Miller, and myself exemplify the trend of Big Sur fiction which portrays an intense effort to survive on a mountainous coastline which sets the mood for the romantic adventure of hiking on an elevated rock strewn nature trail, chopping wood for a fire, and sipping wine on a redwood deck overlooking the Pacific. While appreciating the esthetic beauty of nature the novelist may experience subjective moods of creativity, isolation, distance from the city, desperation, oneness with nature, and metaphysical insights.

The paintings of modern art have influenced my way of looking at reality, so that my novel Big Sur Marvels & Wondrous Delights is written as an artist's book with a collage of chapters that have a natural continuity which evolved from a short story I wrote called Meditations at Big Sur. The novel includes chapters written in poetic prose that advance the plot line which has a time frame extending back to my early writings in college. The view from the beach is exhilarating with dramatic surftumultuous meditative moods with the waters extending northwards where you can see 20 miles up the coast.

to the left of the waterfall...

     a large structure like a hand or telephone...

          with some flowers at the center...

           below two legs of a woman extend to the sand...

             a large dinosaur mouth to the left...

                   a giant man at the top of the phone...

                        like a musician with an angular hat...

                             with McWay falls flowing forth...

                                  from his saxophone or pipelike form...

                                     a split in the pipe signifies...

                                       legalization of marijuana...

                                         a black primitive head...

                                          with white eyes and teeth...

                                      a tall figure with a tall hat...

                                wearing a jacket with white sheep skin...

                       above a covered wagon is emerging...

                    looking like an eraser...

                 a white horse is grazing...

            to the left of the giant musician...

         with black hat and white mustache...

     are some vertical towers...

  horns with a candle flame above...

a white dragon head to the left...

with an ancient man wearing white...

   his complexion is rich pastel brown...

        he is seated on the rocks above...

          a man crawls up the ledge with a lean figure...

              he resembles the flow of the waterfall...
                  
               as an instrument form...

                 the giant man resembles Charles Lloyd...

                     whose album Big Sur Tapestries...

                         celebrates the elation of the coast...

                             an abstract bubble form clarifies...

                                   an ancient hunting horn...

                                       in vertical presentation to the side...

                                     I notice a giant head at an angle...

                                  next to the waterfall...

                           in front of the head an ancient animal...

                       to the right an ancient truck...

                     drives to the edge of the rock...

                 beneath the truck a woman wearing...

             black leotards leaning back...

          with long flowing blonde hair...

     the sunlight refracts into green and red...

prismatic lightwaves in multiple beams...

from the camera perspective of the beach...

  I notice a giant rock to the left of the waterfall...

     with the seated figure of a woman in white...

          with a dignified man standing to the left...

            in a presentation of ancient dinosaur age culture...

               a giant rock to the left...

                 that resembles the hull of a ship...

                   with the trace of a smile...

                     etched into the angular grayish brown rock...

                         while to the right some dark shadowed rocks... 

                            extend westwards into the ocean...

                             with trails running upward...

                                  to an elevated promontory...

                                      pine trees are critipositioned...

                                       on top of the terraced rock...

                                a natural gathering of tree figures...

                          like Picasso's Three Graces...

                    suggesting a group of young women...

                conversing near the railing...


I hike back up the trail to my van of gold, while I think of Jack Kerouac's use of poetic language in Big Sur which I perceive as a casual narrative based on spontaneous social interaction. This novel is an expression of the City Lights trend of 60s interrelationships which foreshadow the early decades of the 21st Century with wine drinking, and now the legalization of marijuana in California. I enter the traffic flow of Highway 1 winding up the coast through some rock canyon curves with Emerson, Lake, and Palmer setting the mood for intellectual adventure, as I drive past the rocky driveway leading up to Partington Ridge where Henry Miller lived, whose Big Sur and the Oranges of Hieronymus Bosch tells the story of the art community in the early years of the 50s. This book is a potpourri of peaceful meditative insight which shows the coast coming out of the quiet years of the beat generation which gradually develops into an American cultural scene with the fine art of cuisine, romantic lodging, and the American sublime of the literary west coast.