WHAT BETTER day to introduce the 3–D Short Story than D-Day, June 6th?
“D-Day” in 1944 was the date American, British, and other Allied soldiers under the overall direction of General Dwight Eisenhower invaded the European continent to help rescue it from the Nazi menace. The assault changed the face of the war. Within a year the Nazi regime was over, Adolf Hitler dead from a self-inflicted bullet wound in the mouth.
WILL the 3–D Short Story change the literary scene that swiftly? To that extent?
WHAT Ernest Hemingway was working toward in his early short stories– before he adopted the persona of Papa Hemingway– was writing as art object. Whole and complete. As finished project.
MANY books and articles, too many to list, document the influence of modernist painters such as Joan Miro and Paul Cezanne on Hemingway’s writing. Though his quoted remarks are vague on the specifics of that influence, we can look at his works themselves to see. Not simply the marvelous descriptions (the opening to A Farewell toArms for instance), but the sense of form and conciseness in his best stories. “A Clean, Well-Lighted Place” to name one.
HEMINGWAY was working toward something which could metaphorically be put on a wall and looked at– meaning, seeing the entirety of the work. Moving away from linearity.
This is a starting place for Pop Lit. Emphasis on clarity and transparency. The essence of “Pop.” Pop as in an Andy Warhol painting, or in a classic two-minute pop-rock song. Or a two-minute punk rock song which gives the listener two minutes of concentrated energy, then abruptly ends.
This is what I was striving for in my experimental work Ten Pop Stories. (An ebook written under the pen name King Wenclas.) Ten pop songs– or ten pop paintings.
THE MAIN IDEA is giving the reader a sense of the American experience– as Andy Warhol in his depictions of Coca-Cola bottles and of Marilyn Monroe so brilliantly conveyed the fast-paced madness of American experience. The American civilization, which for a hundred years has been the world’s dominant civilization.
THE 3–D STORY
Speed and immediacy– what this aspect of Pop-Lit theory is about. What the upcoming 3–DStory form will be about, in multiples. If our experiments work, things in the literary realm are about to become very exciting.
Modernist art IS editing. It’s cutting away all unnecessary material and allowing our minds to fill in the empty spaces. A technique in writing pioneered by Gertrude Stein, Ernest Hemingway, and Georges Simenon.
These writers knew painting and they knew how a daub or two of paint could touch our emotions and allow us to “see” the reality of the image. In writing, a key touch of color or taste or sound to suggest something greater. To stimulate our memories, our own experiences.
This is the antithesis of standard literary writing which strives to tell you everything, overwhelming the narrative with details.
AN EXAMPLE of modernist editing in another art form can be found in this movie trailer:
The film: the 1959 version of Ben-Hur. (Which WILL be playing in movie theaters across the country this month, April 14 and 17, to celebrate the film’s 60th anniversary.)
The trailer is a work of art, superbly edited to suggest the four-hour long motion picture. It achieves a conciseness, a modernist sharpness, not possible from the larger work it serves to advertise. Note especially how the unknown editor uses voice-overs from other scenes to make thematic points; and how he dissolves the two biggest sequences, the chariot race and the crucifixion, into each other.
All movies are shaped and “cut.” Material left out. The trailer is extremely cut.
The idea points a direction for those wishing to make fiction– the short story in particular– as sharp, angled, fast-paced, and exciting as possible.
Which we’re attempting to do with the 3–D Story. *******