Thursday, July 20, 2006

I love dialogue.

Sycamore Review has two blog posts up in response to Steven's review: SmokeLong Quarterly and How Do You Classify Prose Poems? and Editorial Response: That Awesome Cow-in-the-Tree Thing. They pose the question as to whether definitions of literary forms matter and what those definitions should be, a conversation that's been going on for years, sometimes heatedly. I like a lot one bit in particular of what Rebekah Silverman, the editor, had to say: "As SR's editor, I don't really see it as my job to label work into genres: I'm fine taking an author's determination of their work's genre. I do, however, see it as my job, to push those genres by juxtaposing them, mixing them up."

Hell, yeah. Genres should be pushed and artists should be given room to color outside the lines. Which I also think is one of my great joys regarding flash: that it gives more room in its fuzziness of definition to artists to push the language in interesting ways. I've actually said this for a while now. I can even point to a quote! Whee! In Miriam Kotzin's An Essay on Flash Fiction in Per Contra, she posed a very similar question: "When asked about the relationship between prose poems and flash, Dave Clapper, editor of the excellent SmokeLong Quarterly, which publishes flash and interviews with the authors, said, 'I don't really distinguish between the two. Some flash pieces are definitely prose poems. Many aren't. Prose poetry is just one of many valid writing styles, and flash doesn't exclude any styles. I think even some straight poetry could be considered flash.'"

I encourage y'all to jump into the discussion over at SR. It's a great-looking publication with some terrific writing, and this topic presents a discussion that is almost always interesting.


At 7:16 AM, Blogger Joseph Young said...

Thanks for letting us know, Dave. Cool to see, as is SLQ being talked about.

At 5:04 PM, Blogger Chad Simpson said...

Hey, Dave. I just wanted to say: the subject of your post helped me realize that the last two stories I wrote had no dialogue in them. One of them was hurting for some, so I revised, based on, as I said, the subject line of your post. I'll post the resutls in the next day or two.


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