Anti-rebel

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In "An Interview with David Foster Wallace," Wallace describes to Larry McCaffery what is wrong with American fiction today: its self-conscious irony and metafiction. The initial rebels were the postmodernists, those willing to examine what was really going on in fiction, which was mediation between writer and reader and in no way actually real. They were rebels because they were all about shaking up the norms of Realism. But, Wallace says, "we've also seen the toxicity that anarchy for its own sake can yield. It's often useful to dispense with standard formulas, of course, but it's just as often valuable and brave to see what can be done within a set of rules" (149). For Wallace, the people that will make fiction worthy literature again will be those anti-rebels, those writers that will try to create new things using the old rules of sincerity and emotion and Realism, because then there will once again be communication between writer and reader.


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