What is “experimental writing”?

What it isn’t, according to a very emphatic D.G. Myers, is “experimental.” This has always been my big beef with this term. What is the experiment? What is being sought in devising this experiment? And what, at its end, is the outcome of the experiment? It’s a bad and misleading label (though I’m not sure how I feel about Myers’s suggested replacement, via Nye, of “eccentic”), and one that’s fostered lots of sloppy thinking about prose in which plot is not predominant. I think this is one of those cases where if we thought more clearly about what we call something, we’d better understand what it is and why we value it–or why we don’t.

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