Conceptualisms: The Anthology of Prose, Poetry, Visual, Found, E- & Hybrid Writing as Contemporary Art (Paperback)
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A wide-ranging anthology of experimental writing—prose, poetry, and hybrid—from its most significant practitioners and innovators
A variety of names have been used to describe fiction, poetry, and hybrid writing that explore new forms and challenges mainstream traditions. Those phrases include experimental, conceptual, avant-garde, hybrid, surfiction, fusion, radical, slip-stream, avant-pop, postmodern, self-conscious, innovative, L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E writing, alternative, and anti- or new literature. Conceptualisms: The Anthology of Prose, Poetry, Visual, Found, E- & Hybrid Writing as Contemporary Art is the first major anthology of writing that offers readers an overview of this other tradition as it lives in the early decades of the 21st century.
Featuring over 100 pieces from more than 90 authors, this anthology offers a plethora of aesthetics and approaches to a wide variety subjects. Editor Steve Tomasula has gathered poems, prose, and hybrid pieces that all challenge our understanding of what literature means. Intended as a collection of the most exciting and bold literary work being made today, Tomasula has put a spotlight on the many possibilities available to writers and readers wishing for a glimpse of literature’s future.
Readers will recognize authors who have shaped contemporary writing, as among them Lydia Davis, Charles Bernstein, Jonathan Safran Foer, Shelley Jackson, Nathaniel Mackey, David Foster Wallace, and Claudia Rankine. Even seasoned readers will find authors, and responses to the canon, not yet encountered. Conceptualisms is a book of ideas for writers, teachers and scholars, as well as readers who wonder how many ways literature can live.
The text features headnotes to chapters on themes such as sound writing, electronic literature, found text, and other forms, offering accessible introductions for readers new to this work. An online companion presents statements about the work and biographies of the authors in addition to audio, video, and electronic writing that can’t be presented in print. Visit www.conceptualisms.info to read more.
About the Author
Steve Tomasula is author of the novels IN&OZ, The Book of Portraiture, TOC: A New-Media Novel, and VAS: An Opera in Flatland. His short fiction has appeared in McSweeney’s, The Denver Quarterly, Fiction International, and The Iowa Review, and is collected in Once Human: Stories.
“Quick, what do all these things have in common: language writing and electronic literature, visual writing and sound writing, appropriation, collage and recycling, found textual objects, and machine writing? They are all conceptualisms, Steve Tomasula says, and he has assembled this bountiful, beautifully curated anthology to help us see how this is so. Tomasula has a sharp eye, an impeccable ear, a nose for connections and a wicked way with juxtaposition. You already know some of these selections, but I’ll wager there are plenty you don’t know, and in any case you’ll want to have them all in one place on your bookshelf or wherever it is that you keep your archive these days.”
—Brian McHale, author of The Obligation toward the Difficult Whole: Postmodernist Long Poems
“Conceptualisms is a state-of-the-art funhouse of experimental writing. Reading it is like riding a roller coaster in a hall of narrative mirrors. Its nearly one-hundred selections range from postmodern masters like Gass, Coover, and Wallace to postliterature prophets such as Montfort, Jackson, and Bök. No other collection of innovative writing covers so much ground or is as wildly inclusive. A stunning achievement!”
—Jeffrey R. Di Leo, author of The End of American Literature: Essays from the Late Age of Print
“In a time of media multiplicity, we may feel like we’ve had enough of printed books, marble busts, landscape paintings and other windows on the world. Our writing has become multivalenced and our reading is more textured now that we’ve gotten used to texting. Writing both with and against the machine, we situate ourselves conceptually all the time. Steve Tomasula’s anthology is the first book to demonstrate the material and aesthetic range that digital media bring to literary reading and writing. Conceptualisms stands as a codex for our times. Read it through, from start to finish, and you will come away with a sense of what literature has become and where the best literary writing can now be found.”
—Joseph Tabbi, University of Bergen, Norway and editor, ebr (www.electronicbookreview.com)