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Related: boredom - fiction - narratology - abstraction - kitchen sink drama - psychological novel - realism - stream of consciousness

Plotless literature: Nicholson Baker's novels - Tristram Shandy - In Search of Lost Time

Contrast: thriller - plot

In modernist literature, plot is secondary to philosophical introspection, and the prose can be winding and hard to follow. Taking this to the extreme, we come to the anti novel of the mid twentieth century. [Jun 2006]

Slice of life story

A slice of life story is a story which has no real plot. Often it has no exposition, no action, no conflict, and no denouement, but an open ending. It usually tries to depict the every-day life of ordinary people. The term slice of life is actually a (more or less) dead metaphor: it often seems as if the author had taken a knife and cut out a slice of the lives of some characters, apparently not bothering at all where the cuts were made.

It has also been defined as an “episode of actual experience represented realistically and with little alteration in a dramatic, fictional, or journalistic work.”. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slice_of_Life_Storyw [Oct 2006]

Raymond Carver’s short stories

I love Raymond Carver’s short stories because they’re complete and perfect without much happening in them, in terms of action and plot development. What I’d like to find is some novels that are similarly “plotless”? Do they exist?

There are Carver stories which are so good you HAVE to finish them, even though all that happens is someone goes to bingo, sees someone else there, goes home, feels sad and goes to bed. I’m looking for novels where the prime reason you keep on reading isn’t to see “what happens” but because you want to spend more time with the characters or the writing itself; ideally books where very little “happens” at all… --metafilter, March 8, 2005

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