Further Discussions About Transgressive Fiction

This weekend I purchased copies of Knut Hamsun’s “Hunger” and Dostoyevky’s “Notes From Underground” and “The Double”.  (Sadly, I already had the Dostoyevsky, a cheaper paperback purchased from a thrift store with no additional notes or preface.  I justified the purchase in that fashion.)

As I continue my research into Transgressive Fiction, I realize that crime and criminal activities play a part in the genre although it cannot be considered “Crime fiction” per se.  In both Palahnuik’s “Fight Club” and Ellis’ “American Psycho”, deeply disturbing crimes are present and presented although they do not follow a crime fiction scenario of investigation and resolution.  The crimes in those particular pieces are a result of the social commentary or reaction felt by the primary character.

So, I’m trying to speculate as to whether crime fiction can be Transgressive in style or if crime (or defilement or reactionary action) is simply a facet of Transgressive Fiction.

I have started outlining (or shall I say re -started…) a piece that attempts to cross the structure of Faulkner’s “As I Lay Dying” with something basic as Jim Thompson’s “The Killer inside Me.”  The concept being that three main characters “speak” for themselves in each “chapter” and reveal the deepest aspects of themselves that is driving them toward the performance of some crime.  In doing so, there is an aspect of the Transgressive to the feel or tone.  Now, in combining these variant stylistic approaches, what will be the resultant feel to the piece?

Naturally, a story or concept or theme initiates a project.  The development of the outline can alter it.  The multiple drafts can develop it further past and beyond the original intention.  I had not discovered transgressive fiction upon first developing the idea.  But it’s bold imprint upon my mind is producing subtle changes to the characters in my thoughts.

The question being posed is:  Can Transgressive Fiction be used for something more than social commentary (i.e. the restrictive nature of society and the resultant explosive reaction)?


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