At her blog Green City News, Molly Gaudry opened up a forum about flash fiction, among other things, in an entry entitled “Flash fiction, Indie Lit, and the Beats.”
Here’s my quick response:
“It’s a tremendous challenge you face regarding defining, compartmentalizing, speculating about, teasing apart, questioning a form that’s reared in, or at any rate, results in a feeling of immediacy, poignancy, intimacy, connection, something that may act like a virus, a germ, that assaults, coerces, teases, a form having, at its best, haiku’s cogency, a stand-up comic’s delivery, the speed of telling the news but not the weather, a form that stings like a slap, purples like a bruise, a form that at its worst sounds like some drunk dude flapping his gums (it sounded funny or clever at the time, but was really just some guy being dumb), a form that because of its democratic impulse, has opened the floodgates for all kinds of detritus, making it all the more difficult to ascertain quality, importance, significance. Maybe time will tell. But then again what tale does time really tell anyway?
And so now I ramble.
As for demarcating lines between flash, micro- and short fiction, mini-prose poems, etc., I think it’s critical to consider that while hairsplitting results in two hairs, it also results in one original hair diminished. But then again, who’s to say split-ends don’t have their own kind of beauty? Ah, it’s all pretty hairy anyway.
So then, disjointedness and confusion is one possible, if not viable, approach.”
Please feel free to join in the dialogue.