Literary Birthday – 4 February – Robert Coover

Happy Birthday, Robert Coover, born 4 February 1932.


  1. We need myths to get by. We need story; otherwise the tremendous randomness of experience overwhelms us. Story is what penetrates.
  2. People, fearing their own extinction, are willing to accept and perpetuate hand-me-down answers to the meaning of life and death; and, fearing a weakening of the tribal structures that sustain them, reinforce with their tales the conventional notions of justice, freedom, law and order, nature, family, etc. The writer, lone rider, has the power, if not always the skills, wisdom, or desire, to disturb this false contentment.
  3. The narrative impulse is always with us; we couldn’t imagine ourselves through a day without it.
  4. Metafiction says something. It has to do with taking a large fiction itself and writing within it; that kind of self-reflecting writing that emerges from it can be thought of as metafictional.
  5. Some ways of naming a generation are fruitful and some are not. Postmodernism is not. It doesn’t really say anything.

Robert Coover is an American novelist, poet, and short story writer. He is known for his avant-garde writing where he uses experimental forms and techniques to mix reality and illusion. This creates surreal situations in his work. He is generally considered a writer of fabulation and metafiction. His short-story collection, Pricksongs & Descants established him in postwar American writing.

Source for photo By Dave Pape – Own work, Public Domain, / Source for quotes

by Amanda Patterson

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Posted on: 3rd February 2020