Archive for March 22nd, 2012

March 22, 2012

Fiction With No Point?

I found this great quote embedded in a March 21, 2012 TheAtlantic.com article “The White Savior Industrial Complex” from Teju Cole, author of the novel Open City:

I am a novelist. I traffic in subtleties, and my goal in writing a novel is to leave the reader not knowing what to think. A good novel shouldn’t have a point.

I’ve found that the most interesting fiction I’ve read follows this dictum. I also find that my most interesting writing comes from pushing myself to write narrative about nothing. Such a thing can exist in fiction and can push the reader beyond literality. In my opinion, pointless fiction gives faith to the reader that s/he can engage in her/his own interpretation should there even be one. To me this rings truer of the way life really happens. We’ve all had moments when we simply didn’t know what to make of them. I’m glad to hear this notion affirmed by a notable writer like Cole.

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