Flash Nonfiction Illuminates, Like a Flash Gun

November 5, 2012 § 1 Comment


Jill Talbot interviews Brevity editor Dinty W. Moore about the intricacies of flash nonfiction and the new Rose Metal Press Field Guide.  Here’s an excerpt followed by a link to the full Bookslut interview:

In the first section of the anthology, “The Flash Nonfiction Form,” Bret Lott notes, “There ought to be an explosion of recognition, a burst of self-awareness that gives my reader the understanding that these few words she’s read have had hidden within them a realm far larger than any she could have imagined.” 

Bret’s definition is really a definition of all excellent art. A painting is taken in through the eyes, but can magically bloom, in the viewer’s brain, into words and sounds and aroma. A ballet is just movement of a dancer’s arms and legs and torso but can be translated, in our minds, into a universe of feelings and associations. Brief nonfiction prose tells a story, provides information, but that is only the surface of what is possible. The author is trying to create, though language, image, metaphor, the possibility for that “burst of self-awareness” that the term “flash” implies. It doesn’t just go by in a flash: it illuminates, like a flash gun.

The full Bookslut interview is here.

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