The Cuckoo Bird of Fiction: Pastiche, Hoax and the Evolution of Form

Critical Writing
Record Status: 
Abstract (in English): 

Drawing examples from the free-swinging, rootin'-tootin' 18th century and from the present day, this talk will explore imitation as the sincerest form of innovation. By finding vigorous vernacular forms and investing them with the scope and goals of classical literature, or by projecting wildly onto idealized "foreign" forms, writer/designers have --- at moments of social transition --- pushed, pulled and parodied their cultures toward needed change . . . often laughing all the way. The gesture is that of the cuckoo --- laying one's eggs in another's nest. While offering a historical and theoretical account of this strategy, the presentation will also practice what it preaches --- by performing, live, the latest chapter in an ongoing pastiche fiction. Hang on to your hats!

The permanent URL of this page: 
Record posted by: 
Scott Rettberg