How could words possibly describe or critique a wordless novel? Dubiously, I would like to present a nearly unexplainable motif: Nigel Tomm's "The Mos...moreHow could words possibly describe or critique a wordless novel? Dubiously, I would like to present a nearly unexplainable motif: Nigel Tomm's "The Most Popular Fiction..." is somehow similar to Harmony Korine's "A Crackup at the Race Riots." Perhaps I've naturally established this comparison because of the two novels' lack (or refusal) of linear organization. Both contain the appearance of an anonymous scrapbook found upon the side of a freeway. The central difference would be that Tomm's abandoned scrapbook expresses supposed illiteracy--somebody with similar ideas and no ability to write with language or words. "The Most Popular Fiction..." should not be demeaned of literary value though. Those who know of Nigel Tomm know of what a true wordsmith he certainly is. I've rated this novel with four stars rather than five because I feel that words fully attribute to the talent of Nigel Tomm. Nonetheless, this book, product, novel, gift, and item still ought to satisfy anyone with enough curiosity, patience, or admiration.(less)
Let's make things blah, indeed. From 2007 to 2008, Nigel Tomm unblinkingly demolished all previous thoughts about the barrier of language and words by...moreLet's make things blah, indeed. From 2007 to 2008, Nigel Tomm unblinkingly demolished all previous thoughts about the barrier of language and words by writing and releasing "The Blah Story," the longest published novel in literary history.
Its sixteenth volume maintains all notoriety, beginning with a goal of whimsical proportions and the simple intent to create complex history. With this particular volume, Tomm begins the written world's longest (run-on) sentence. Beyond each blah placement and every post-post-post-modern idea within the volume lies something that could be viewed as an historical lecture on linguistics. The Joycean stream-of-consciousness narrative and the cummings-esque word reinvention present somewhat of an homage to all previous boundary-devouring authors/wordsmiths. The crudely drawn clock on the book's cover helps to string this possible theory together. "The Blah Story" is not only about a personalized reading experience like no other; it is also about all reading experiences that had been (and, in some cases, still are) far ahead of their entrapping times. Especially with volumes 16 through 19 of his blah story, Nigel Tomm is an inspirational pioneer paying his respects to the pioneers that had probably inspired him.(less)
When it comes to most types of flash fiction, there is no completely solid, concrete word-limit. General microfiction is usually coined at approximate...moreWhen it comes to most types of flash fiction, there is no completely solid, concrete word-limit. General microfiction is usually coined at approximately 300-1000 words, whereas nanofiction tends to be at most 50 words. However, this book contains nanodrama, not nanofiction, just as the title bluntly suggests. Much like nanofiction, nanodrama is "characterized by its extreme brevity," and the concept seems like yet another illustrious, promising literary experiment from Nigel Tomm, but...these dramas are not without flaw.
Since there is no precise limitation, Tomm has set the length of his own nanodramas to be between 0 and 19 words. Nothing is necessarily wrong with such a decision to define "extreme brevity" to the fullest extent (after all, the author has indeed been known to defy basic normalities and constricting constructs of literature), but it is this drastic limit that strips these nanodramas of significant, if not vital, dramatic elements. Of these 119 presented works, a mere four of them at all expand beyond breakneck dialogue between two (sometimes three) characters. I have always admired Nigel Tomm for his relentless bending and breaking of the rules, but with this publication, I couldn't help but wonder where the setting or the description or the action or the development was. There is a reason why most nanofiction falls between 50 and 55 words long...
At the opposite end of the spectrum, however, the brevity of these dramas could be more enhancing than one would think. "Despite their briefness, they nonetheless manage to fully convey themes, ideas and conflict." Many pieces of the puzzle may indeed be missing with each nanodrama, but the drama is still there--in disjointed fragments and broken shards. A nanosecond is one component of a second, so perhaps these nanodramas are merely selected specks from much more vast unwritten dramas. On every page is a couple of characters and sentences that could begin a play, end a play, or even bring a play to intermission, and in this sense, the collection is dramatic.
It is essential to weigh the positive and the negative when reading "Nanodrama Not Nanofiction" because so much is improper and absent and simultaneously so much is provocative and affecting. A bit too much may be left for inferring or implying or assuming, but these nanodramas (even the two that are zero words long) do still tell tales of heartache, love, confusion, identity, existentialism, carelessness, tragedy, friendship, and more.(less)
I feel that it would be difficult to review each of these six texts individually, for they all, despite the possibility of having their own attached m...moreI feel that it would be difficult to review each of these six texts individually, for they all, despite the possibility of having their own attached meanings, communicate the same idea. What that idea is exactly, I am not sure...but it must have something to do with either environmentalism or literacy, and I have a feeling that it is probably the latter. ADD and ADHD are being diagnosed to our nation's youth more and more at an alarming rate these days. It seems as if the children--the future--simply cannot focus and therefore, simply cannot read. They are distracted; they are missing out on experiencing the importance and beauty of language. The literary world is indeed becoming a "decimated forest," and Peter Ganick offers these experimental texts ("with sadness") as a nervous but hopeful solution. Pure language is presented in different conceptual formats, incorporating the repetition of fractal literature and the randomness of algorithmic writing. Offered to those who can't find their way out of the woods is a new type of poetry, attempting to plant a few new seeds with an attention toward linguistics rather than prosody and compression rather than space. "the decimated forest" is an anthology of relentlessly challenging yet wildly significant works that I hope will be able to clear away any smoke.(less)
Collaborative artist Jim Leftwich presents eight separate political texts scattered and scrambled onto backgrounds of ghostly, deathlike women possibl...moreCollaborative artist Jim Leftwich presents eight separate political texts scattered and scrambled onto backgrounds of ghostly, deathlike women possibly awaiting their own haute couture experiences which will gravely never arrive.(less)