Examines how, beginning in the 1960s up to the present, a new type of fiction was created in America, but also in Europe and Latin America, in response to the cultural, social, and political turmoil of the time.
This book examines how, beginning in the 1960s up to the present, a new type of fiction was created in America, but also in Europe and Latin America, in response to the cultural, social, and political turmoil of the time. The author has coined the term "Surfiction" for this New Fiction. Written in an informal, provocative style, by an internationally known practitioner, these essays examine the cultural, social, and political conditions that forced serious writers to reflect (often within the work itself) on the act of writing fiction in the modern world. The entire book can be read as a manifesto for the present and future of the new fiction. This book is the first in the SUNY series in Postmodern Culture, edited by Joseph Natoli.
Raymond Federman is Distinguished Professor of English and Comparative Literature, and Director of the Creative Writing Program at State University of New York at Buffalo. He is a bilingual novelist, poet, critic, and translator who has published over twenty books (fiction, poetry, criticism) and numerous essays and articles. His novels have been translated into a dozen languages.
"I like the way this book makes available critical reflections on postmodern or 'experimental' literature from the perspective of one of its central practitioners in the West today. We hear Federman's voice speaking from both inside and outside the scholarly and pedagogical discourse on postmodernism—a discourse to which he brings the intensity, engagement, vitality of the fiction writer for whom the 'fate' of the postmodern novel is not merely an academic question. I love the informal, provocative style of Federman's ruminations as he alternately immerses himself in and emerges from the texts of others without encumbering the book with what are so often perfunctory footnotes. "— Jean Walton, Fordham University
"Critifiction is not just an important book, it is an important idea in itself: that a key innovator in contemporary fiction is able to cross so many boundaries and undertake brilliant commentaries on those leaps and bounds even as they happen. I cannot think of another figure who is so essentially both a fiction writer and seminal critic, so much an American while still retaining a European flavor, so interesting a thinker while remaining a vibrantly entertaining writer on such matters as current fiction and postmodern culture. Raymond Federman has always managed to place himself at the center of his work, and his Critifiction essays are a natural vehicle for making the most of this impulse for writer and reader alike. " — Jerome Klinkowitz, University of Northern Iowa