The Turn of the Novel (2)

In fiction, those moments–or those many pages–which render a central character’s realization that life has become morally impossible are often accompanied (is it only in fiction?) by the onset of illness and fever: the very intensity of the moral explosion brings on a physical deterioration. And not infrequently, those fully expanded and intensified moments in the structure are also accompanied by the suggestion of mental derangement–hallucination or insanity. Perhaps we are justified in regarding these processes as literary “rituals” or conventions…which not only render by also mark the fullness of the formal expansion of experience.

–Alan Friedman, 1966

The Turn of the Novel

…the stream of events in the novel…becomes the experience of the reader: the self and world in the novel become our self and surrounding world, so that the experience of reading a novel comes closer than does that of any other form of literature to our personal experience in time. The fundamental form of fiction in-forms[sic] the reader’s self, and as a result consistent patterns of moral and emotional response in the novels of an era can and do take on the impact and authority of mythic information.

–Alan Friedman, 1966

Oh me, oh my!

Big developments in the Paperclypse household: a new mini-paperclypse: Paperclypse the Younger has arrived!

Here’s another little MP3 for your listening pleasure. The text of which follows (I really like the bit about the Ragnarok of Pets and Zoo Animals… it seems like there’s at least a ten-volume set of epic fantasy novels there….):

Memory III

For all time,

as the cockatoos and walruses did wage eternal war each upon the other:

that bastard Ragnorak of pets and zoo animals,

my sleepmind vapored and rose above to gaze sadly down

(and yet happily)

upon my still and benodded bodybody:

the grim toes, those crooked lips, that hairy belly.

There was a screeching and a’gnawing upon the door,

and I watched my bodyself rise to open, sighing “no”:

hungry silence and salivated words upon my doorstep

toothy words at my door

oh, and darkness too:

dark which enveloped my head in a thousand blazing caricatures of


“Why is this here?” I cried.

The quiet stretched on and on and always,

as I watched my small and fragile formbody standing at the edge,

sitting coldly down, gnawing carefully-oh, so carefully!-

chewing on my bodyhand’s empty ringfingerbone:

looking down, I felt the dim pull of pain:

a quick rushing, and I sat once more between my ears.

Yet, I did not waken:

I sat clutching soiled words and empty fingers

and toothy lightning bolts were hurled ‘cross the sky:

those eyes within my head were stunned,

broken with their thick lashing.

In silence,

for there was no one there,

I scratched my ears

in silence.