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One thing we can almost guarantee will come up tonight at >Harper’s Magazine’s panel “On Experimental Fiction” is Ben Marcus’s scathing 2005 essay in Harper’s, sarcastically titled Why Experimental
Fiction Threatens to Destroy Publishing, Jonathan Franzen, and Life As We Know It: A Correction. In that piece, Marcus took Franzen to task for his suggestion that today’s fiction writers were losing readers by writing in a too-difficult avant-garde style. But is there even such a thing as “experimental fiction,” and, if so, what is it? Debating the matter will be three writers who are in no danger of being called mainstream: Heidi Julavits (The Vanishers), Rivka Galchen (Atmospheric Disturbances), and Joshua Cohen (Witz).
Tue., Jan. 15, 7 p.m., 2013