Welcome to the class blog for English 116A: Experimental Fiction, The Narrative Simulation.

Experimental literature and film often breaks with established genre conventions or with the reader’s expectations of how the art work represents reality (as human senses perceive it). These two traits are closely intertwined, and in this course, we will examine how various literary and cinematic works break with generic conventions by also challenging the genre’s ability to mimic reality. On the one hand novels and films simulate our experiences with textual or cinematic technologies, but on the other they also shape how we perceive an interact with the world around us. This feedback becomes apparent with the introduction of digital simulation technologies. To call is some literature or cinema experimental is also to say that it challenges the way we structure our world.

Readings will include works by Jorge Luis Borges, Italo Calvino, Julio Cortázar, Thomas Pynchon, J.G. Ballard, and Steven Hall. Films will include Antonioni’s Blow Up (1966), Nolan’s Memento (2000).