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des
Posted on Saturday, May 28, 2005 - 03:12 am:   

I don't know.
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des
Posted on Sunday, May 29, 2005 - 12:36 am:   

Exactly. Fiction is the only form of writing where you don't know what you're writing. How truthful? How duplicitous? How good/bad or (a)(im)moral it is? How it will strike the reader, even fiction with didactic propensities? Where it comes from? Its aesthetics that burn through your own disintentionality? (Characters you supposedly create sometimes take over and make the piece even more unknowable as to direction and purpose etc.) Any more unknowables/imponderabilities that define the art of Fiction?/

This is what defines fiction. Not knowing what it is.

All else is non-fiction writing.
des
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des
Posted on Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 08:45 am:   

Fiction is knowing about everything that is not known.

"Both wanted to sit down in the shade at the edge of the woods: neither would suggest it."
from A Game Of Hide and Seek (1951) by Elizabeth Taylor

i.e. hiding and seeking truths amid the unsynchronised omnisciences of more than one fictional mind.

Chasing a noumenon.
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Tamar
Posted on Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 10:30 am:   

"Both wanted to sit down in the shade at the edge of the woods: neither would suggest it."

That's a wonderful example of fiction doing what only fiction can do.
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Anna Tambour
Posted on Saturday, June 11, 2005 - 05:11 pm:   

Taxonomizing fiction is like trying to catch and cage a chimeramandusa. (Even photographing one is an impossibility even greater than proving the existence of that Mongolian Death Worm.)
Saying 'fiction is...' is like saying 'an eoc is' (when an eoc is everything one consumes). If you're wooden-tongued with thirst, and twirling in a coracle on the Sargasso Sea, you don't wish your first meal if you're ever picked up, to be moules mariniere. But if you're ensconced in a book you're reading, you can be peckish as hell, but only for your hangnails.

Likewise, fiction. You say, Des, 'Fiction is knowing about everything that is not known.'
But fiction can also be the revelation--in celebration, mystery, humour, tragedy; indeed, all the facets of reality's equivocalness--of NOT knowing what is known. Personally, I usually prefer this kind of fiction, as it invites me to think, and it is equivocal itself.

Some fiction makes unreality believable.
Some fiction makes reality believable. The LA Times ran an article yesterday that spoke of this in the context of movies, but the observation is true for books too--one reason for the rise in organised demands to ban books. "It's funny how people think something isn't real until they see it in a movie." - from "There is evil", LA Times
http://www.latimes.com/features/printedition/magazine/la-tm-rwanda24jun12,1,3435 844.story?coll=la-headlines-magazine

Some fiction drags the writer with it, its characters coming alive and haunting the writer for the rest of hes life, and some fiction is carefully controlled by the writer, who acts rather like a lion tamer. No type is intrinsically better than another, or any more discoverable as the-fiction-that-defines-fiction, any more than a salamander is better than a frilled lizard. Well, that's what I think, but then again, I'm no theorist.
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des
Posted on Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 02:23 am:   

That's beautiful, Anna. Very inspiring.

Fiction is like two unknown but gradually known characters or threads that eventually may blend (almost beyond the writer's control) across some vast waste (in one case between the unknown and the known, the other bewteen two beautiful minds whose two bodies happen to be in a Freak Show Circus trailer - as metaphors for the divide between writer and reader) by means of imputed incarnation-by-fictipathy or simply by imagination...

The other thread (character) is here:
http://tinyurl.com/8kmc6


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Anna Tambour
Posted on Sunday, June 12, 2005 - 05:23 pm:   

Fictipathy! I like that, Des. The fictipathic state certainly does seem to fit, and I'd be the last person to qualify further, though I do remember 'bonkers' and 'on Mars' and 'what happened to lunch?', as some observers' points of view.
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des
Posted on Monday, June 13, 2005 - 05:54 am:   

Anna, 'fictipathy' has indeed mainly concerned the pathology of Fiction, but also, more recently by common usage, it has become to indicate a form of active telepathy by fiction - distinct, however, from the more passive Jungian 'Collective Unconscious' or, even, from nemoguity.

des
des
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des
Posted on Sunday, July 31, 2005 - 09:58 am:   

On the other hand, fiction is probably more akin to a transcending of genre, reality and self - not through what I described as 'fictipathy' above, but as a designer of words into non-pragmatic patterns. Stories are indeed unpragmatic (ie of no possible use) but they do allow one to evolve abstract musical journeys with extrapolated (pseudo and real) memory- or dream-recall resonated by the ricochet -- of meaning, look, sound and syntax -- which the words inexplicably form plotically (as well as poetically) within the reading mind.
This may be relevant to other discussions about what is wrong with certain genres. It is the genre that is wrong, not the stories that make up the fabricated genre. It is the self that is wrong (both writer and reader), not the 'ricochet' described above.
des
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des
Posted on Thursday, February 16, 2006 - 12:58 am:   

There is much fiction *about* religion but very little fiction that aspires to *be* religion.

And for 'religion', please read 'empowered spirituality' rather than any single sect of religion.

I think the Horror and/or Fantasy genres (not sects!) are the most likely to achieve this goal. And those who have approached it (even if it was not their conscious goal): Lord Dunsany, William Hope Hodgson, Robert W Chambers (King in Yellow), HP Lovecraft, Arthur Machen, Thomas Ligotti, Jeff VanderMeer,Susanna Clarke...
Any more?

Or is this a cul de sac, because you feel that 'religion' cannot be attained by fiction. Nor should it try?

des
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
The Tenacity Of Feathers
www.weirdmonger.com
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Dflewis
Posted on Monday, May 08, 2006 - 08:44 am:   

'Fictipathy' - coined above - is now the title of a post on my blog, i.e. the second post with today's date here:
http://www.weirdmonger.blogspot.com/

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