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Coloring Outside the Lines

Fran Upton: Is it a Novel or is it Memorex?:

…van Gogh is a good example of a visual artist who colored outside the lines but also recognized that lines were still there in front of him. He didn’t try to pass off nonpaintings as paintings, or at least nonpaintings as ART, nonart as art, all of which I think too many supposed visual artists have tried doing, in more recent times especially. And when I look over the works of many so-called literary or “alternative writers,” literary or “alternative presses,” alternative magazines, publishers and the like, I’ve gotta ask: why do so many individuals seemingly pass off nonnovels as novels, nonshort stories as short stories, and nonpoems as poems? I think writers do this for various reasons, one of them being that writing in those formats while recognizing the traditional structural lines isn’t easy. Novels in particular are often considered a “prestigious” written work probably because they’re fucking extremely hard to write well.

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