Tuesday, July 02, 2013

PLASTIC MILLENNIUM: Notes toward a materialist theory thereof (preamble)

I've been posting for quite some time on the concept of the screenplay novel, and, more recently, the screenplay module novel. I've also been making various references to a mega-novel.

Here are some photos of the work-in-progress, the work-completed-but-still-in-flux, the-work-altogether-finished-and-now-inexplicably-gathering-dust ... however you want to categorize it. It's big. It's meant to be big. And it reads like a screenplay. It's meant to read like a screenplay -- including one with the supporting material of storyboard roughs and stills. But it also reads like a conventional, text-only narrative -- that is, it comes in two versions. It's meant to -- well, you get the idea.

Reaction to its sheer scale tends to, I find, cause a reaction, a pulling back, rather than an expression of curiousity. I wish it weren't so, but this is, for  better or worse, the state of real-world publishing at this historical moment: big novels seem outre. They are not in fashion. They are not even considered.

And yet, if there is any culture that could benefit from a few mega-novels about contemporary life, it is Canada's; literary culture in this nation is defined by a dual -- almost bipolar -- desire to be taken seriously on the international stage, and a shying away from any work that would have a chance of competing in a direct sense with the mega-novels on the 21st Century that more confident literary cultures are currently producing. (Canada, just to clarify, is quite good at producing historical mega-novels. And I'm fine with that. But I speak now of .. the now. This is where Canadian letters tends to pull its punches ... tends not to take risks.)

Because of this need for a mega-novel about contemporary life along with the real-world material fact of a publishing industry that reacts (sometimes with its knees) to any manuscript above a "reasonable" word-count, I have also broken this novel into modules. They work independently, and they also click together, like Lego pieces. And, as I said above, there is a graphic novel aspect to the project. And, oh right, there are the YouTube experiments. And the audio book versions. And so forth.

More to follow.

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