THE DIALECTICS OF ARTISTIC ECLECTICISM: ENUCLEATING THE NUB OF MODERN FICTION
By Ogunrotimi Olumide
The novel in the modern times, like every other thing, has become variable. Gone were the days when there was artistic conformity to the rules of plot, structure, setting, characterization, point of view and diction. Novelists abided by the established rules and this greatly assisted in giving the novel a stable and consistent form that made for easy tagging. Although in the beginning the novel was considered an inferior genre and fit only for literary artists with ‘lesser ability’, as the world became more chaotic, disorderly, and neoteric, the novel gained ascendancy over older forms of literary expression. Apparently, this has been made possible by its ability to reflect, in its form and structure, coeval sophistication, incoherence and literary avantgardism. This paper attempts to investigate and expound on this malleability of fiction and its present phase of eclecticism. It contends that though of the three genres of literature it has the shortest pedigree, its refusal to yield itself to a stable tradition (except of course that of adaptability) is particularly suited to reflect the volatility of human experience.