Bricolage

Two novels have inspired this small experiment in bricolage mostly conducted during the initial months of the Covid-19 pandemic.

First, I was intrigued by the manner in which George Saunders incorporated passages quoted from other texts into Lincoln in the Bardo (Bloomsbury, 2017). They provided background context to the central narrative. They also raised a question, through their multiple, often contradictory voices, regarding to what extent history is itself a fiction.

The other novel was Jeremy Gavron’s Felix Culpa (Scribe, 2018), the entire narrative of which is composed of a patchwork of fragments stitched together from other texts. The novel as bricolage.

In both cases, quoted passages from different sources follow one after the other. There is no additional commentary. They are creative exercises in curation. Yet they also speak to the notion, in which I strongly believe, that books converse with one another – across time and space.

I am indebted to all the writers quoted in the pages of the PDF document.