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.

Katie’s Warsaw

I forgot that Poland wasn’t a country until Wilson’s Fourteen Points. Their tumultuous history of being pushed and pulled by Russia and Germany and Austria-Hungary has made them participants in every war during the past three centuries. In Warsaw it’s easy to see that; Polish culture is somewhat like American because of how it borrows… Continue reading Katie’s Warsaw

Plot and Psychological Complexity are Crucial to Post Postmodern Fiction

So I’ve been thinking a lot about plot and the chronology of my story. Yeah, plot is important because you’ve got to hook the reader, don’t want him to feel like reading is a drag, although usually when that happens the truth-grains are thicker and tastier after they’ve eventually been digested as per plot-lite Beckett… Continue reading Plot and Psychological Complexity are Crucial to Post Postmodern Fiction