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How novel is it?

“What we call the ‘novel’ is a highly artificial form, which came in the nineteenth century. It’s quite as arbitrary as the sonnet. And that form had a beginning, a middle, and an end; it has a plot, and it has this chapter structure where you have one chapter, and then you try to leave the person in a state of suspense, and on to the next chapter, and people are wondering what happened to this person, and so forth. That nineteenth-century construction has become stylized as the novel, and anyone who writes anything different from that is accused of being unintelligible.” — William Burroughs (interviewed by Philippe Mikriammos in The Review of Contemporary Fiction, Spring 1984, Vol. 4.1)

Published inLit & CritWilliam S. Burroughs

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