Thursday, September 10, 2009

Fiction: A Novel by Ara 13

On the Web site for Fiction: A Novel (Covington Moore) there is a link to Wikipedia’s explanation of metafiction. It is explained thus: “Metafiction is a type of fiction that self-consciously addresses the devices of fiction. It is the literary term describing fictional writing that self-consciously and systematically draws attention to its status as an artifact in posing questions about the relationship between fiction and reality, usually, irony and self-reflection.”

Somehow Wikipedia’s explanation encapsulates Fiction: A Novel rather perfectly. I’m still not sure that’s a good thing. I acknowledge that it might be, but for more sophisticated palates than mine.

I understand there are places in writing -- spots in the craft -- for work that is so self-aware it is experimental, in a way. Work, one might say, that pushes the envelope. For many of us, however, just getting through it is painful. This may just be a matter of perspective.

I’ve thought about all of this a lot since reading Ara 13’s novel and here is what I came up with: when I read, I’m looking to be filled. My life is challenging; is filled with challenges. I don’t require -- or even desire -- strongly traditional story-telling, but neither do I want to expend large quantities of energy on the books I choose. I give the reading experience time. In return, I want the book I’ve chosen to experience to reward me in some fashion. Fill me, as I said. Share knowledge, even of human nature or spirit or heart. A review from an outfit called The Trades Book Review said this about Ara 13’s book, “Fiction has a lot to say, and it takes a heady mind to process just what the message is at times,” and so I think it’s possible my own mind is just not that... er... heady. If you think yours might be, here’s what the publisher says about Fiction: The Novel:
Father Daniel journeys deep into the harsh forest, with romantic notions of converting the fierce Oquanato cannibals to Christianity, but his heroic sense of mission clashes with the farcical antics of sophisticated savages, whose beliefs originate from a peculiar source -- a source that rattles Daniel into an introspective, yet dubious narrative.

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