Dec. 13, 2021



For decades, many critics have diagnosed the novel form as “dead." This talk will take a stance that is more vitalizing: the novel is hungry. I will examine how the contemporary novel's form metabolizes information from three sources: the Internet, television, and forums for cultural discourse. Using Lucy Ellman's Ducks, Newburport (2019) as a scaffold, I will highlight the mechanics of what I call “the Wikipedic Novel," a literary genre that bears and wears information from the Internet in the music of its prose. I will consider the readerly stake in identifying, finding, and ultimately sharing in the source of an author's “facts." Does a new type of unreliable narrator emerge for the digital age in the Wikipedic Novel? An unreliable author? ​​​