Meta-seductive Fiction: An Artist's Statement
by Alice Andrews
My "art," what I call "meta-seductive fiction," in many ways goes against traditional fiction’s seductive style (in the Baudrillardian sense). Just as the lover who is never quite in reach seduces and compels, traditional narrative seduces by hiding, by appearing not to seduce. “Show, don’t tell” is its strategy par excellence. It’s human nature (if you believe in such a thing—I do!), to be drawn in and affected by what is elusive and not transparent; to want to search beyond what’s offered and available; to always want a little more. So our writers oblige in a style that is habit-forming and addictive, one that exploits our evolved psychological mechanisms and preferences. Distant, enigmatic, and maybe even a little commitment-phobic, traditional fiction evokes desire and passion.
Meta-seductive fiction, on the other hand, seduces (if it’s successful) by countering the seductive "hiding" strategy, with its openness—with hiding from hiding. Meta-seductive fiction flirts with truth and intimacy. Sometimes it tells the reader what it’s doing and often it expresses ideas openly, unafraid of logic’s potential to prevent feeling. It isn’t afraid of wanting to affect, and have a relationship with, the reader. It is male and positivist, while at the same time female and relational. All that’s not to say I would go so far as to proclaim: “Tell, don’t show.” Absolutely not. I believe in mystery. I believe in decoding signs into signified. And I believe in the narrative. After all, we are cerebrally bifurcated and lateralized; which is to say, unlike music and visual art which are limbic and right hemispheric ("emotional")—language is not. One way to make it so is to write poetry, another is through story. g