What comes next? If this is the question then the answer is prologue. It isn’t technology, not yet, because we’re still learning how to feel comfortable with substituting new processes for old. It isn’t to repeat what was done a hundred years ago, or fifty years ago. It’s to go even farther back, to understand that we come at the turn of a millennium, and that we have not just a hundred, but a few thousand years of tradition to appreciate.

Our formal techniques may echo Joyce and Pynchon, Woolf and Wallace, but the stories we tell in our era have to go even farther back. They have to revert to the first true novel: Plato’s Dialogues. The reason this was first is because it told a story in the way man first moved to abstraction: metaphor. Or allegory, if you prefer. Metaphor is what myth is based on because in it man anthropomorphizes God.

After the Dialogues, philosophy became too abstract and literature became too self-conscious. Let us fix this by offering a simple premise, say good versus evil, and carrying the story through with allegory until its logical conclusion. This, to me, is the metamodern novel, and it is how metamodern fiction will read.

Because in a society where hardly any one is religious, we need to return to what makes us human– stories. From the articles on the first page of Google to last year’s Pulitzer winning novel, we seek stories we can apply to our own lives with metaphors about life’s challenges and illusions.

I could go on with examples but I would only be spinning my wheels. Let’s have brevity. Already I feel too postmodern with such a disclaimer, but then, we are only on the cusp of this putative metamodernism.

Eternal Bliss

I was just about to eat my Nutella toast which I slathered completely with Nutella, because there’s nothing worse than a sandwich with a dry corner, or a piece of toast uncovered by chocolate, when a djinn flew in through the window and said, “Good Daniel, I have a proposition for you.”

Coincidence in Post Postmodernism

Henry Fielding was a model for Charles Dickens. After all, Tom Jones was one of the first English novels. The use of coincidence in Tom Jones and David Copperfield adds a lot of suspense, builds expectations, and then, ironically, catharsis. This is the way I will use irony in metamodern literature, instead of the all… Continue reading Coincidence in Post Postmodernism

An Excerpt from Daniel Adler’s Metamodern Novel

Okay, I solved the problem of how to allow my narrator to talk to his younger, more objective self. It’s a bold resolution. Here’s an example of my metamodernism, which comes on the heels of a sexual vignette. That was a nice little anecdote. But did you really need that to impress them? How do… Continue reading An Excerpt from Daniel Adler’s Metamodern Novel

>Metamodernism in a New York Moment

>  Imagine being in a garden terrace where American ‘90s jazz plays and the art that hangs on the walls is a menagerie of midcentury color-swerving, obviously Picasso inspired. One particular painting strikes you, this one more Fauvist: a purple blonde clutches a pearl necklace as she emerges, orange-nippled and open-mouthed, from a parlor with… Continue reading >Metamodernism in a New York Moment

>Bushwick and Swallow Cafe

> This is where I do a lot of writing. I watch Gio flirt with Sam(antha), who clearly likes him. She is pretty popular in the community, being a barista and all. But there’s something about the way she smiles when she talks to him that makes it clear. I once saw her at the… Continue reading >Bushwick and Swallow Cafe

>Metamodernism in Literature

> My friend Thomas Gibney knows the meaning of post postmodernism. He’s living in Hong Kong right now, and has just launched his website. He has written four short stories that allow you, the reader, to guide him to the story’s ends. This example of avant-garde art, especially the interactivity, is what our moment is… Continue reading >Metamodernism in Literature

>Metamodernism, or Post Postmodernism Redefined

> I was talking to Anthony last week about my shitty novel, and I described my attempt to make it fit into metamodernism, with the oscillation between first, second and third persons. “This will show,” I said, “that the narrator is able to pass judgment upon himself, and encourage the reader to do so simultaneously.”… Continue reading >Metamodernism, or Post Postmodernism Redefined