The Unknown: The Blue Line.
  S: Dirk?

D: Yeah?

S: How would you describe The Unknown in, sort of, traditional literary terms? What kind of genre is it? Or genres?

D: It has elements of the epistolary novel, because of all the letters that are in there, uhm, there’s a term I’m thinking of—

S: Bildungsroman?

D: Well, it has some aspects of that, that’s true. But, no, I’m thinking of a term that describes—book that go from scene to scene, sometimes without—

S: Picaresque?

D: Picaresque is the word I was thinking of, yes, I think it’s definitely picaresque. So it combines those three aspects of the novel. Obviously, there are metafictional elements to the degree that we’re always questioning the narrative, baldly pointing out authorship and pointing fingers in that direction, and away from that direction.

S: Modernism. There’s a lot of modernism going on in there, almost too much. Referentiality. Is that modern or postmodern?

D: Both. See, postmodernism, as far as I’m concerned, is just an advanced stage of modernism, and to separate the two is probably a mistake. Postmodernism, I believe, is pretty much a stepchild of modernism, and not a separate, identifiable notion. The only difference between modernism and postmodernism, I think, is the amount of irony involved. Postmodernism is just dripping with all sorts of irony, and self-awareness. Modernism was self-aware, it just didn’t trumpet it as much, didn’t make as big a fuss about that portion of the operation.

S: So, to what extent do you think we’re—is our text heavily ironic?

D: Well, it damn well better be, or we’re due for a trip to a house where they use different kinds of drugs to alter our view of reality.

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Genre Unknown

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