i know an engineer-type dude who said fiction bored him, because fiction is mostly-formulaic and tropey, and you can generally guess what’s gonna happen next, and yada yada

so his solution for this problem was… to solely read serial web novels in languages that (1) he did not speak, and (2) for which there was no actual translation, fan or otherwise

apparently, the combined forces of “trying to figure out WTF is going on via the power of Google Translate” + “cultural differences in storytelling conventions” + “the inherent randomness of where the hell amateur authors are gonna take their plots”—those all mashed up to make stories that were unpredictable enough to keep him guessing all the time

then he described to me this totally batshit-sounding Hungarian story he’d been obsessively reading once a week for years

and god i think about him all the time.  like.  that is the most wild way to process fiction that i have ever heard of, but also, i’ve gotta admire the sheer chaos energy of it

like i tried to tell him suspense isn’t about having no fucking clue what’s going on, it’s about having expectations subverted in novel and interesting ways that nonetheless accord with one’s understanding of the story’s universe, etc

and he’s just like “no.  suspense is when i cannot guess what is happening next, full stop.  quantum physics is a suspense novel”


#the wondrous variety of sapient life

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.