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"À rebours can scarcely be called a novel, and Huysmans, in fact, does not call it so. It does not reveal a history, it has no action, but presents itself as a sort of portrayal or biography of a man whose habits, sympathies and antipathies, and ideas on all possible subjects, specially on art and literature, are related to us in great detail. This man is called Des Esseintes, and is the last scion of an ancient French ducal title."--Degeneration (1892) by Max Nordau

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Plotlessness refers to fiction lacking plots. Plotlessness was uncommon before the 20th century, but in modernist literature, plot was secondary to philosophical introspection. Taking this to the extreme, the anti-novel was an evolution of the mid twentieth century.


Plotless literature

18th century

19th century

20th century

In modernist literature, plot is secondary to philosophical introspection, and the prose can be winding and hard to follow. Taking this to the extreme, we come to the anti-novel of the mid twentieth century.


Plot-driven literature

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Plotlessness" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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