This novel had its origins as as a kind of literary challenge, to turn a legal essay about obscenity law into work of literary fiction. The novel grapples with the inherent conflict between the objectives of essays and the objectives of art. It plays with the rationale of the leading obscenity case– Miller v. California 413 U.S.15 (1973) —the peculiar notion that obscene works could be outlawed because they “contain no ideas.”
The Flick examines the way that meaning is conveyed through words, through fiction and fact, through law, letters, and other forms of intercourse. The didactic material interacts with the literary, until the tension reaches a climax far beyond the notions what it is ordinarily believable and far beyond the boundaries of rhetorical comprehension.
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© Stuart Hopen, 1990, 1995, 2000, 2014