All terms

What is an Antinovel?

A genre of fiction that subverts traditional narrative conventions and literary form.

Breaking Rules: Exploring the Antinovel Genre

Are you tired of conventional storytelling? Want to shake things up in your writing? Look no further than the antinovel genre! An antinovel is a type of fiction that challenges traditional narrative structure and literary conventions. While typically still categorized as a novel, the antinovel subverts the expectations of plot, character development, and language.

A criticism of traditional novels was that they can be formulaic, predictable, and tedious. The antinovel is a response to this criticism. It offers an alternative to formulaic storytelling by breaking the rules of narration, characterization, and structure. An antinovel may lack a traditional plot, dialogue, or character development, instead choosing to focus on language and style. It puts emphasis on the experience of reading rather than what the reader gains from the story.

While it may seem difficult, writing an antinovel doesn't need to be overwhelming! An antinovel is a blank slate, and there's no right or wrong way to approach it. The most important thing is to experiment with form and language. Be playful, be experimental, and above all, don't hold yourself back!

Antinovels in Action: Two Examples of Literary Rule-Breakers

Here are two examples of notable antinovels that you can explore further, each experimenting with different literary tropes and conventions:

Naked Lunch by William S. Burroughs

William S. Burroughs' Naked Lunch is a fragmented and non-linear work that jumps between disparate scenes and characters in a stream-of-consciousness style. The novel is known for its experimental form, explicit content, and provocative language, and has been highly influential in the countercultural movements of the 20th century.

Hopscotch by Julio Cortázar

Julio Cortázar's Hopscotch offers readers a unique experience of the narrative by presenting multiple possible paths through the story. The book is written in a non-linear fashion with chapters deliberately placed out of order, and the author invites readers to construct their own reading experience based on their interpretation.