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The Literary Style of Minimalism in Contemporary Short Fiction

All of this is by way of pointing to the difference in expression between minimalism and other narrative modalities. In this regard, Murphy develops the idea that postmodernists used a narrative style that was was consistent with the ideas it expressed. As she notes, citing RobbeGrillet, "the postmodernists developed a flat, expressionless narrative style to encompass reality as 'it is, quite simply' rather than to interpret reality by means of a strong narrative voice and a defined philosophical attitude (as seen in modernist fiction). Thus, too the emphasis upon valuefree or valueneutral fiction in postmodernism" (Murphy 8).

Postmodernism also represents a revolt against the narrative tradition of mimesis, or an imitation of the actions of persons, which Murphy describes as antimimesis. "The assertion in postmodernism was that literature is ite own reality . . . and that, therefore, they should operate in accord with their own aesthetic values and internal ordering patterns" (Murphy 10). The resulting "metafiction" or "surfiction" was one in which the formal cause of the creative work becomes its final cause as well. The style is one of presentational rather than representational fiction, wherein the pattern of events may be a parody rather than an imitation of action. Donald Barthelme is one practitioner of the form, which Murphy says was an important influence on Beatty, and Gordon's discussion of Barthelme's literary technique, whch she says includes an implicit social criticism, characterizes metafiction as something that may be taken as a vague Romantic hope for a better world but that is also a literary expression of social, moral, cultural, and ethical entropy:

Barthelme loves oxymorons and negative lists. . . . He uses

wellknown literary or pop allusions, or statistics, or

scientific jargon (or jargon from dozens of sources) either

to boldly interrupt his preceding material, or ...

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The Literary Style of Minimalism in Contemporary Short Fiction. (1969, December 31). In Retrieved 22:37, July 22, 2017, from
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