Beyond Genre: Obliterating the Literary

In James Sallis's canonical series of New Orleans crime novels, private eye-cum-postmodern novelist Lew Griffin coins the term "irrealism" to refer to fiction that "eschew[s] the tenets of ‘realistic’ or mimetic fiction.” In interviews, essays, and criticism, Sallis has argued against genre distinctions as being useless, imposing limitations on both reader and writer: “Literature is not a table with three dishes: it's this huge buffet… You wander about it at will, take what you want or need… Everything’s there.” The four writers on this panel may be considered "literary," yet each incorporates elements of genres such as southern gothic, crime, mystery, historical, and speculative or science fiction into his or her work, often using them to engage with complex ideas about race, identity, politics, and history. The panel will begin with each writer giving a brief reading (a page or two) and discussing how thinking (or not thinking) about popular and literary genres has informed his or her practice. A discussion will follow. If time permits, audience members will have a chance to ask questions at the end.

With Adrian Van Young, Moira Crone, Addie Citchens, Yuri Herrera, and Tom Andes (Moderator)


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New Orleans Healing Center