A fine series of interviews with writers whom the author feels represent the ""new fiction"" of the '60's -- including Tom...

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THE NEW FICTION

A fine series of interviews with writers whom the author feels represent the ""new fiction"" of the '60's -- including Tom Wolfe, Ishmael Reed, Kurt Vonnegut and Joyce Carol Oates as well as the more predictable Barth, Barthelme, Hawkes, Gass, Sontag, Kosinski, Sukenick, and Gardner. The interviews are both entertaining and revealing in their own fight (Barth gets bored writing, Barthelme answers questions with the same elegant self-deprecation one finds in his stories); altogether they present a fairly inclusive compendium of current aesthetic theories and the practitioners' ideas on the future state of the art. These vary widely -- from Sontag's epistemological rejection of a shared reality to Wolfe's commonplace acceptance of it, from the mythic parodying of Barth and Reed to what can only be called Hawkes' attempts to create new myths, from the self-consciously impersonal narrative of a Kosinski to the spontaneity of a Sukenick, from Vonnegut's few structured pages a day to Oates' fifteen-to-twenty page outpourings. Individually these interviews are as fine as those featured in The Paris Review (some were originally published there); collectively they are even more valuable as testimony to the vitality of a kind of writing presumed to be dying only ten years ago.

Pub Date: Jan. 1, 1974

ISBN: N/A

Page Count: -

Publisher: Univ. of Illinois Press

Review Posted Online: N/A

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 1, 1974