Friday, November 07, 2014

Literary Sloppiness


A major difference between modernists and postmodernists is how the writers or artists implicitly view the universe, and by extension, their art.

For instance, Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness and F. Scott Fitzgerald’s The Great Gatsby both portray seemingly chaotic worlds. But the works themselves are as structured, as complex, as any literary works ever. They’re in line with how current physicists increasingly view the universe—chaotic on the surface, but behind this, far more complex and ordered, in a way we’re only beginning to comprehend.

In that sense, modernism is a truer depiction of the world. Today the postmodernists assume the world is chaos, and hand us sloppiness in their work. Baggy monsters. They don’t know where they’re going in their novels and don’t really care. The writing itself—the words and sentences—are their only value. They don’t understand that meaning comes with form and structure.

Another example of the use of structure is in music—the jump between the classically ordered mathematically-precise symphonies of Beethoven and the modernist impressionism of Claude Debussy. Behind the seeming jumble and flow of Debussy’s “La Mer” IS form and structure, which makes the work cohere, gives it momentum, and allows it to close at a peak, providing artistic satisfaction. The satisfaction of art; of form.


I attempt to provide complexity, simplicity, and form myself anyway in my recent ebook, Assassination of X. A murder takes place in a chaotic situation. The puzzle seems insoluble. Yet order and intelligence might after all be somewhere present behind all.

Read the novella and see if I accomplish my artistic goal.

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