And let me tell you, it was super weird. The whole thing is two big paragraphs. It’s all told as the ramblings of a guy sitting in a chair at a party, reflecting on the artistic culture of Vienna and his estrangement from it. Very interesting. I thought that the form gave it a kind of pressured quality that suited the content. See, now some people would call a novel like this an experimental novel, because it certainly has a form that’s not very typical.
But don’t experiments have to be new? This is not new. It’s very similar to Molly Bloom’s soliloquoy in Ulysses. And who knows, maybe it wasn’t even an experiment back then. There’s not much in art that is new. There are just millions upon millions of models and techniques. And some models are more commonly used than others, because they are more accessible and more effective in most situations. But that doesn’t mean that the other models are somehow cutting-edge; they’re just rarer.
Sometimes you tell a story that requires you to dig a bit deeper into your toolkit of models, and that’s when you end up being like, “Huzzah, this story needs to be all in one paragraph.” Or, alternatively, you’re like, “I want to write a story that’s all in one paragraph. What kind of content would best fit that form?”
But it’s still not experimental.
Which is not to say that there are not real experiments. I am sure that new techniques are being created all the time. I just bet that most of them are not particularly useful