“An extraordinary thing happened today.”

Today’s submission is probably the most bizarre yet.  So you’ve been warned.  I thought it appropriate to quote, as the title of this post, the first line from Nikolai Gogol’s short story “The Diary of a Madman.”

I don’t know what to say about this story, except that it’s another exercise in the absurd.  I recently learned about a relatively new genre called bizarro fiction.  For Superman or Sienfeld buffs, this term isn’t anything new.  But in the world of fiction it’s a kind of hybrid between surrealism and genre sci-fi.  Wikipedia says:

“While works of Bizarro may have literary merit, the primary focus of the genre is to entertain. In this respect, Bizarro has more in common with speculative fiction genres (such as science-fiction, fantasy, and horror) than with avant-garde movements (such as Dadaism and surrealism) that readers and critics often associate it with.”

Basically, if bizarro fiction had a video-store analogy, it would be the cult-classics section.  I think of this story as an etude, a study.  It strives to entertain first, and making rational sense is a distant second.

April 9th – Leaky Universe

Leave a Reply