Transgressional fiction or transgressive fiction is a genre of literature that focuses on characters who feel confined by the norms and expectations of society and who use unusual and/or illicit ways to break free of those confines . A genre (ˈʒɑːnrə also /ˈdʒɑːnrə/ from French "kind" or "sort" from Latin: genus (stem gener-) is a loose set Literature is the Art of written works Literally translated the word means "acquaintance with letters" (from Latin littera letter Because they are rebelling against the basic norms of society, protagonists of transgressional fiction may seem mentally ill, anti-social and/or nihilistic. The Protagonist or main character is the central figure of a story. Mental disorder or mental illness is a psychological or behavioral pattern that occurs in an individual and is thought to cause distress or disability that is not expected as Antisocial personality disorder ( APD) is a Mental disorder.It is defined by the American Psychiatric Association 's Diagnostic and Statistical The genre deals extensively with taboo subject matters such as drugs, sex, violence, incest, pedophilia, and crime. A taboo is a strong Social prohibition (or ban) against words objects actions or discussions that are considered undesirable or offensive by a group culture A drug, broadly speaking is any chemical substance that when absorbed into the body An organism's sex is defined by the gametes it produces males produce male gametes (spermatozoa or Sperm) while females produce female gametes (ova or Egg cells; individual Violence is the exertion of force so as to injure or abuse The word is used broadly to describe the destructive action of natural phenomena like Storms and Earthquakes Incest refers to any sexual activity between closely related persons (often within the immediate family that is illegal or socially Taboo. The term pedophilia or paedophilia has a range of definitions as found in Psychology, law enforcement and the popular vernacular In the sociological field, crime is the breach of a rule or Law for which some governing authority or force may ultimately prescribe a Punishment
The genre of "transgressive fiction" was defined by Los Angeles Times literary critic Michael Silverblatt. The Los Angeles Times (also known as the LA Times) is a daily Newspaper published in Los Angeles California and distributed Michael Silverblatt (born 1952) is the host of Bookworm, a nationally syndicated radio program about books and literature originating from Los Angeles  Anne H. Soukhanov, a journalist for the The Atlantic Monthly, described transgressive fiction thus:
The genre has been the subject of controversy, and many forerunners of transgressional fiction, including William S. Burroughs and Hubert Selby Jr., have been the subjects of obscenity trials. William Seward Burroughs II ( – ˈbʌroʊz was an American Novelist, Essayist, Social critic, painter and Spoken word Hubert Selby Jr ( July 23, 1928 – April 26, 2004) was a 20th century American writer Obscenity (in Latin obscenus, meaning "foul repulsive detestable" is a term that is most often used in a legal context to
Transgressional fiction shares similarities with splatterpunk, noir and erotic fiction in its willingness to portray forbidden behaviors and shock readers. Splatterpunk is a term that David J Schow coined in the mid-1980s at the World Fantasy Convention in Providence refers to a movement within Horror fiction Hardboiled Crime fiction is a literary style pioneered by Carroll John Daly in the mid-1920s popularized by Dashiell Hammett over the course of the Erotica (from the Greek Eros —"desire" or "curiosa" works of art including literature, photography film sculpture But it differs in that protagonists often pursue means to better themselves and their surroundings—albeit unusual and extreme ones. Much transgressional fiction deals with searches for self-identity, inner peace and/or personal freedom. Self-concept or self identity refers to the global understanding a sentient being has of him or herself Inner peace (or peace of mind) refers to a state of being mentally and spiritually at Peace, with enough Knowledge and Understanding Freedom, or the idea of being free is a broad concept that Unbound by usual restrictions of taste and literary convention, its proponents claim that transgressional fiction is capable of pungent social commentary.
There is also some overlap with Literary minimalism, as many Transgressional writers use short sentences and simplistic style. Minimalism describes movements in various forms of art and design especially Visual art and music, where the work is stripped down to its most fundamental features
The basic ideas of transgressive fiction are by no means new. Many works that are now considered classics dealt with controversial themes and harshly criticized societal norms. The Western canon is a term used to denote a canon of books and more widely music and art, that has been the most influential in Early examples include the scandalous writing of the Marquis de Sade and the Comte de Lautreamont's Les Chants de Maldoror (1869). Donatien Alphonse François de Sade, Marquis de Sade ( June 2, 1740 – December 2, 1814) ( was a French aristocrat Comte de Lautréamont (lotʁeaˈmɔ̃ in French was the Pen name of Isidore Lucien Ducasse ( April 4 Les Chants de Maldoror ( The Songs of Maldoror) is a Poetic Novel (or a long Prose poem) consisting of six Cantos It was written between French author Émile Zola's works about social conditions and “bad behavior” are examples, as are Russian Fyodor Dostoyevsky's existentialist novels Crime and Punishment (1866) and Notes from Underground (1864) and Norwegian Knut Hamsun's psychologically-driven Hunger (1890). This article is a general introduction to French literature For detailed information on French literature in specific historic periods see the separate historical articles in the Émile François Zola ( (2 April 1840 &ndash 29 September 1902 was an influential French Writer, the most important exemplar of the literary school of Russia (Россия Rossiya) or the Russian Federation ( Rossiyskaya Federatsiya) is a transcontinental Country extending Fyodor Mikhailovich Dostoevsky (Фёдор Миха́йлович Достое́вский, sometimes transliterated Dostoyevsky, Dostoievsky, Existentialism is a philosophical doctrine which posits that individuals create the meaning and essence of their lives and that this essence follows from their existence Crime and Punishment (Преступление и наказание is a Novel by Russian author Fyodor Dostoevsky that Year 1866 ( MDCCCLXVI) was a Common year starting on Monday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Notes from Underground (Записки из подполья Zapíski iz podpól'ja, also translated in English as Notes from the Underground Year 1864 ( MDCCCLXIV) was a Leap year starting on Friday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian Calendar (or a Leap year Norway ( Norwegian: Norge ( Bokmål) or Noreg ( Nynorsk) officially the Kingdom of Norway, is a Constitutional Knut Hamsun, born Knud Pedersen ( August 4, 1859 - February 19, 1952) was a Norwegian author. Hunger (Sult is a novel by the Norwegian author Knut Hamsun and was published in its final form in 1890 Year 1890 ( MDCCCXC) was a Common year starting on Wednesday (link will display the full calendar of the Gregorian calendar (or a Common Sexual extravangance can be seen in two of the earliest European novels, The Satyricon and The Golden Ass, and also (with disclaimers) Moll Flanders, and some of the excesses of early Gothic fiction. Satyricon (or Satyrica) is a Latin work of fiction in a mixture of prose and poetry The Metamorphoses of Lucius Apuleius, which according to St Augustine was referred to as The Golden Ass ( Asinus aureus The Fortunes and Misfortunes of the Famous Moll Flanders (commonly known as simply "Moll Flanders") is a Novel written by Gothic fiction (sometimes referred to as Gothic horror) is a genre of literature that combines elements of both horror and romance.
Early twentieth century writers such as Octave Mirbeau, Georges Bataille and Arthur Schnitzler, who pungently explored psychosexual development, are also important forbearers. The twentieth century of the Common Era began on Octave Mirbeau ( February 16, 1848 in Trévières - February 16, 1917) was a French Journalist, Art critic Georges Bataille (ʒɔʀʒ baˈtaj ( September 10, 1897 &ndash July 8, 1962) was a French Writer. Arthur Schnitzler ( May 15, 1862 - October 21, 1931) was an Austrian writer, Dramatist and doctor The concept of psychosexual development, as envisioned by Sigmund Freud at the end of the nineteenth and the beginning of the twentieth century is a central element in his sexual
In the late 1950s, American publisher Grove Press, under publisher Barney Rosset, began releasing decades-old novels that had been unpublished in most of the English-speaking world for many years due to controversial subject matter. The 1950s Decade refers to the years of 1950 to 1959 inclusive The United States of America —commonly referred to as the Grove Press is an American publishing imprint that was founded in 1951 Barnet Lee Rosset Jr, more commonly known as Barney Rosset (born 1922 is the Chicago-born American entrepreneur and former owner of the publishing house Grove Press English is a West Germanic language originating in England and is the First language for most people in the United Kingdom, the United States Two of these works, Lady Chatterley's Lover, D. H. Lawrence’s tale of an upper class woman’s affair with a working class man and Tropic of Cancer, Henry Miller’s sexual odyssey, were the subject of landmark obscenity trials (Lady Chatterley's Lover was also tried in the UK and Austria). Lady Chatterley's Lover is a Novel by D H Lawrence written in 1928 David Herbert Richards Lawrence (11 September 1885 – 2 March 1930 was an English writer of the 20th century whose prolific and diverse output included Novels short Is a concept in Sociology that refers to the group of people at the top of a Social hierarchy. Working class is a term used in academic Sociology and in ordinary conversation to describe depending on context and speaker those employed in specific fields or types Tropic of Cancer is a Novel by Henry Miller, first published in 1934 by Obelisk Press in Paris and still in print Henry Valentine Miller (December 26 1891 &ndash June 7 1980 was an American writer and painter. The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, commonly known as the United Kingdom, the UK or Britain,is a Sovereign state located Austria (Österreich ( officially the Republic of Austria (Republik Österreich Both books were ruled not obscene and forced the US literary establishment to weigh the merit of literature that would have once been instantly deemed pornographic (see Miller test). Literary merit is a quality of written work generally applied to the genre of Literary fiction. Pornography or porn is the explicit depiction of Sexual subject matter with the sole intention of sexually exciting the viewer The Miller test is the United States Supreme Court 's test for determining whether speech or expression can be labeled Obscene, in which case it is not protected
Grove also published the explicit works of Beat writers, which led to two more obscenity trials. The first concerned Howl, Allen Ginsberg’s 1955 poem which celebrated American counterculture decried hypocrisy and emptiness in mainstream society. Howl and Other Poems is a collection of poetry by Allen Ginsberg. Irwin Allen Ginsberg (ˈgɪnzbɝg (June 3 1926 &ndash April 5 1997 was an American Poet. Year 1955 ( MCMLV) was a Common year starting on Saturday (link displays the 1955 Gregorian calendar) Counterculture (also " counter-culture " is a sociological term used to describe the values and norms of behavior of a Cultural group, or The second concerned William S. Burroughs’ hallucinatory, satirical novel Naked Lunch (1959). William Seward Burroughs II ( – ˈbʌroʊz was an American Novelist, Essayist, Social critic, painter and Spoken word A hallucination, in the broadest sense is a Perception in the absence of a stimulus. Satire is often strictly defined as a literary genre or form; although in practice it is also found in the graphic and Performing arts In satire human Naked Lunch (sometimes referred to as The Naked Lunch) is a novel by William S The year 1959 ( MCMLIX) was a Common year starting on Thursday (link will display full calendar of the Gregorian calendar. Both works contained what were considered lewd descriptions of body parts and sexual, often homosexual, acts. Grove also published Hubert Selby Jr.’s anecdotal novel Last Exit to Brooklyn (1964), known for its gritty portrayals of criminals, prostitutes and transvestites and its crude, slang-inspired prose. Hubert Selby Jr ( July 23, 1928 – April 26, 2004) was a 20th century American writer Last Exit to Brooklyn is a 1964 Novel by American author Hubert Selby Jr Year 1964 ( MCMLXIV) was a Leap year starting on Wednesday (link will display full calendar of the 1964 Gregorian calendar. Prostitution is the act of performing Sexual activity in exchange for Money. This article deals with the history of the word 'transvestite' Slang is the use of highly informal Words and expressions that are not considered standard in the speaker's Dialect or Language. Last Exit to Brooklyn was tried as obscene in the UK. These trials, all of which Grove Press won, paved the way both for transgressive fiction to be published legally, as well as bringing attention to these works.
In the 1970s and 80s, an entire underground of transgressive fiction flourished. This article is about the Decade 1970-1979 For the Year 1970 see 1970. The 1980s was the decade spanning from January 1 1980 to December 31 1989. Its biggest stars included J.G. Ballard, a British writer known for his strange and frightening dystopian novels; Kathy Acker, an American known for her sexually blunt but still feminist fiction and Charles Bukowski, an American known for his tales of womanizing, drinking and gambling. James Graham Ballard (born 15 November in the International Settlement in Shanghai, China) is a British Novelist and Short A dystopia (from the Greek δυσ- and τόπος alternatively cacotopia, kakotopia, cackotopia, or anti-utopia) is the vision of a society Kathy Acker (née Karen Alexander) ( 18 April 1947 - 30 November 1997) was an American experimental Novelist, Sex-positive feminism, also known as pro-sex feminism, sex-radical feminism, or sexually liberal feminism, is a movement that began in the early 1980s Henry Charles Bukowski ( August 16 1920 – March 9 1994) was a German American Poet, Novelist, and The notorious 1971 film version of Anthony Burgess' A Clockwork Orange, contained scenes of rape and "ultraviolence" by a futuristic youth cult complete with its own fully developed lexicon, and was a major influence on popular culture; it was subsequently withdrawn in the UK, and heavilty censored in the USA. A Clockwork Orange is a 1971 Satirical Science fiction Film adaptation of a 1962 novel of the same name, by Anthony Anthony Burgess (February 25 1917 — November 22 1993 was an English Novelist, Critic, Composer, Librettist, Poet Nadsat is a constructed Language used by the teenage subculture also called Nadsat in Anthony Burgess's novel A Clockwork Orange The novel A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess and the movie adaptation have wide-ranging influences on Popular culture, such as Popular Its author claimed it as a morality tale.
In the 1990s, the rise of alternative rock and its distinctly downbeat subculture opened the door for transgressive writers to become more influential and commercially successful than ever before. The 1990s collectively refers to the years between and including 1990 and 1999 Alternative rock (also called alternative music, alt-rock or simply alternative; known primarily in the UK as indie) is a genre of This is exemplified by the influence of Canadian Douglas Coupland’s 1990 novel Generation X: Tales for an Accelerated Culture, which explored the economically bleak and apocalypse-fixated worldview of Coupland's age group. Country to "Dominion of Canada" or "Canadian Federation" or anything else please read the Talk Page Douglas Coupland (born December 30, 1961) is a Canadian Novelist. Year 1990 ( MCMXC) was a Common year starting on Monday (link displays the 1990 Gregorian calendar) Generation X Tales for an Accelerated Culture, published by St The novel popularized the term generation X to describe this age demographic. Generation X is a term used to describe generations in the United States and other countries born between the approximate years of 1965 to 1981 the late 1950s and 1960s or Other influential authors of this decade include Bret Easton Ellis, known for novels about depraved yuppies; Irvine Welsh known for his portrayals of Scotland’s drug-addicted working class youth and Chuck Palahniuk, known for his characters' bizarre attempts to escape bland consumer culture. Bret Easton Ellis (born March 7, 1964 in Los Angeles California) is an American author. The term yuppie (short for " young urban professional Irvine Welsh (born 27 September 1958 Leith, Edinburgh) is a contemporary Scottish novelist, best known for his novel Trainspotting Scotland ( Gaelic: Alba) is a Country in northwest Europethat occupies the northern third of the island of Great Britain. A drug, broadly speaking is any chemical substance that when absorbed into the body Charles Michael "Chuck" Palahniuk (ˈpɑːlənɪk born February 21 1962) is an American Transgressional fiction Novelist Consumerism is the equation of personal Happiness with the purchase of material possessions and consumption. Both of Elizabeth Young's volumes of literary criticism from this period deal extensively and exclusively with this range of authors and the contexts in which their works can be viewed. Elizabeth Young (1950-2001 was a London -based literary critic and author who wrote principally on cult writers for a range of British newspapers and magazines
In the UK, the genre owes a considerable influence to “working class literature”, which often portrays characters trying to escape poverty by inventive means while, in the US, the genre focuses more on middle class characters trying to escape the emotional and spiritual limitations of their lifestyle. Working class is a term used in academic Sociology and in ordinary conversation to describe depending on context and speaker those employed in specific fields or types Poverty (also called penury) is deprivation of common necessities that determine the quality of life including food clothing shelter and safe Drinking water, and The middle class, in colloquial usage consists of those who have some economic independence but not a great deal of social Influence or power.
This is a short list of works of transgressional fiction that are of considerable popularity and/or influence: