Critical Fiction — FAQ

— The critical fiction may be simply defined as a literary form that adopts the techniques and language found in one or more source texts to form a critical response and a satisfying fiction.
— The critical fiction is an approach to reading, a way of looking, not an essay in discursive exegesis (i.e., expository writing).
— Critical fiction offers an approach to material otherwise resistant to ordinary criticism, and an opportunity to make something new and unexpected happen.
— Critical fiction is the literary equivalent of what happens when a visual artist creates a work in direct response or hommage to another artist’s work.
— In a critical fiction, form (story) and critical content are inseparable ; the work explicitly addresses itself as a critique of another work of literature.

The website « » is intended to encourage and promote literary discourse and formal innovation, and to provide a forum for discussion of texts, techniques, and related issues.

Reading List
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“ an omnivorous dredging of the whole body of fantastika so marks contemporary writing that it might seem tautological to identify any modern text as metatextual in particular: for none [is] not ” — John Clute, in Foundation.
“ I would go so far as to say that all modern writing is about some other text, and that this is so much the case that many writers are guardedly furtive about it, while knowing that their only hope of meaning is in our ultimately finding that other text. ” — Guy Davenport, “ The Critic as Artist ”, in Every Force Evolves a Form (North Point Press, 1987),  p. 105.

— Where fan fiction has as its principal aim the building of further incident within the world of the source fiction, the function and form of the critical fiction aim to create a wider context within which to examine the source fiction, literature, and the reader’s own experience.
— Where pastiche uses a source fiction, its aim is primarily to satirize it, the world it represents, and the connections between that world and our own. Like the critical fiction, the pastiche examines and generates a new fiction, but the objects of its examination are primarily social entities rather than textual, metatextual, or aesthetic ones.

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