About Red Tales

Here's an evolving electronic collection of short prose pieces, with a poem contributed occasionally. Brevity guides. Although sometimes a piece will run to 900 words, most pieces are much shorter. Here one may find erotica, flash fiction, brief observations, and modest improvisations. Another rule is that each piece must have something to do with"red"; at least the word has to appear in each piece functionally. . . . All pieces are numbered and titled, so there's a de facto table of contents running down the rail below, under "Labels" (scroll down a bit). Browse for titles that look interesting, if you like. Thank you for stopping by. Look for some red today, tonight.

"Flaming June," by Frederick Lord Leighton

"Flaming June," by Frederick Lord Leighton

Monday, April 8, 2013

218. Is The Realistic Novel Dead?

"They say they realistic novel is, at long last, dead," said Grone. He was among the passengers committed to a transcontinental pod-train that soared, four inches above its tracks, across the parched mid-section of the United States. The train was silver, with a red streak, like a trout. "Who is 'they,'?" asked Jenny Fraska of Grone. She didn't care to know, but she cared enough to converse. "Critics," said Grone, with no enthusiasm but as if it were a good answer. He and Fraska didn't know each other. Their bodies were traveling at 100 miles per hour, at least. Jenny Fraska shrugged. "Someone once told me," she said, "that in the long run, not a single critic ever mattered." "I'm a critic," said Grone, "of sorts. And I concur. May I--?" "--No," she said. "You may not." "But you don't know--" "--I k now," she said. "You were going to take the conversation to some kind of second stage." "Jesus," Grone said, almost out loud but to himself, "I want to smell and lick and kiss you." "I know what you're thinking," said Jenny. "So do I," said Grone. "I can pay." Jenny Fraska laughed. "This is precisely why critics have dismissed the realistic novel, and why they are wrong," she said. "What do you mean?" Grone asked. "I mean that humans are determined to be realistic, and no one especially wants to read about it." "May I please sniff your neck?" asked Grone. "Never!" said Jenny Fraska. Grone smiled. For he recognized "Never!" as an example of a type of ambiguity.

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