Internet Fiction Digest, 12th August | A Tin House Slick Six | Sheila Heti | Twitter-fictions

Posted on August 12, 2013

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I have so many tabs open and reading is so hard. Short stories are so long. Oh, wut. This week’s Tin House Flash Fridays is six stories in less than a thousand words? And they’re really well written and cutting and full of interesting uses of tense and perspective? And one of them is just one sentence long? And it has a really cool title like “A Slick Six from Camoflauge Country” and is co-written by two happening dudes called Ryan Ridge and Mel Bosworth? And it includes the words “orgy”, “gobs” and “catwalk amnesiacs”??

Sheila Heti’s “novel-from-life” How Should A Person Be? is memoir-theatre-fiction-self-help-philosophy-interview, it’s refreshingly done — it’s writing that refuses to be pinned down. It cuts through the veneer of “novel” or “confessional” and becomes its own compelling situation; its own question and its own answer. This prospect doesn’t lessen the importance of a fantastical novel or a hard piece of journalism, but surely we’re at the point now where writing is a niche enough beneath the spectre of brightly flashing visual mediums that we can stop trying to wantonly sub-divide it. Heti’s short stuff is also great, and though this story The Girl Who Was Blind All The Time is definitely a “short story” it’s written in a clever journalistic tone, with an understated remoteness and a gut-punch ending. Her site has links to several other cool stories, including one about a mermaid.

Re: Last fortnight’s Twitter Fiction ‘challenge’. Fair to say that it’s tricky to evoke something magical in 140 characters. That being said, these ones got me going:

(@__elenagomez): My children and I not new to intestines, it was these that we pulled from him while he slept. No generals in our tents now.

(@Tim_Sinclair) Began again. Found life’s meaning. Made the movie, lost the plot. Plotted comeback. Moved the meaning. Began again. A shot.

I want to keep this going. But considering my whole genre-is-reductive spiel, let’s go beyond “write short stories in 140 characters and then send them to us” — we just want your ma’fucken tweets: beautiful tweets, funny tweets, sexy tweets, anything you’ve idly produced and think works in its own right. Or write new ones. Or whatever. We want your 4am panic Twitter glory, your Christmas morning Twitter glory, your disenfranchised citizen glory, your etcetera… Hit us up! @rough_penguins

–Justin