“Even in the Sunniest Weather, Everything Here Feels Unreal”: Writing the Uncanny Details
Sepulchral beetles, mellifluous aardvarks, tinted glasses amid tall grasses, pet scythes, surreal thighs, houses rolling their eyes—estranged details keep prose alive in the fantastic, or dead to the dull. Strangeness builds momentum and characterization in prose. At the level of the line, we will learn techniques from William Gass, Sasha Sokolov, Eduardo Galeano, Kathy Acker, Peter Weiss, Charles Yu, Grace Paley, J. G. Ballard, László Krasznahorkai, Steven Millhauser, and others. On the generative side, participants will explore writing dioramas, miniature forms, pieces narrated by objects, and the strange world of children. Nothing sticks to the roof of the memory’s mouth like weirdness and bubble gum.