Creative Nonfiction

What is this form?

I have been – and continue to be – attracted to what Nicole Brossard names ‘fiction-theory,’ in her exceptional work The Aerial Letter. Brossard writes: “It is thus at the border between what’s real and what’s fictive, between what it seems possible to say, to write, but which often proves to be, at the moment of writing, unthinkable, and that which seems obvious but appears, at the last second, inexpressible, that this elusive derived writing, writing adrift, begins to make its mark.”

Yet I am also persuaded by the definition of creative nonfiction advanced by Lee Gutkind, founder of the magazine Creative Nonfiction, in which some of my work has appeared.

As a concession to the labels “fiction theory” and “creative non fiction,” I suppose there is a need, at times, to find for our writing, genre labels that make it possible to redefine, imaginatively, our writings. And if in turning to these new labels we find it possible to write in ways we have not previously written, then the new labels serve a purpose. Maybe there is an inescapable need for new classifying categories, and a still greater need on the part of progressives and adventurers to seek out, put to use, and inhabit these new classificatory categories.