Several years ago, some fictioneer colleagues and I considered the idea of founding a small press.
When asked what, precisely, we intended to publish, I answered, “Maximalist-Expressionist fiction,” a term both satisfactorily accurate and sensibly vague. Almost simultaneously a colleague responded, “Shut up fiction.” Much more to the point, wouldn’t you say? Especially when written as Shut/-/Up(!) fiction, which allows both the definitive and imperative to shine simultaneously. Fiction shut up in file cabinets and desk drawers or on computer files because it aspires to something beyond the crass market concerns or dullard minimalist aesthetic driving our retarded publishing establishments. Fiction that, were it allowed to blossom in the full light of day, were it allowed an audience, would certainly shut the reader up, silence him, soothe the readerly consciousness and calm the ubiquitous self-chatter of which it is composed—to trumpet what is missing in nearly all contemporary fiction: imagination, style, music, voice.
What follows is a rambling manifesto culled from a loose collection of observations and notes which attempts a more complete understanding of “Maximalist Expressionism” or “Shut/-/Up(!) Fiction.”
Read the manifesto. [pdf]