ID Experiment

Susan Steinberg’s “What Happened to Experimental Writing” reinforces my impression of her that I drew from reading Spectacle; scattered, abstract, structural, and of course experimental. She says that she “had to figure out…how not to alienate the reader” in the stories within Spectacle, but I have to admit that I do feel a little alienated. 

Steinberg consistently tries to reassure us that what she is saying is either an accidental metaphor, not a metaphor at all, or gives multiple examples of what she is actually trying to say (pgs 4, 23, 26, 28, 74, and others). I feel like this puts me in a position of doubt and mistrust regarding Steinberg – is this purposeful? In the “Cowgirl” story, Steinberg talks at length about her ID, and what it is like to have an inconsistent identity. Is she searching for a solid identity through her experimentation? If so, is she trying to challenge the reader’s identity through her experimentation in order to present “a new set of concerns” for the reader that have less to do with content and a message than with identifying the function of a reader?


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