Literary Lists: Best Experimental Literature

This is a list about the greatest experimental literature in my opinion.  Experimental literature usually emphasizes innovations, especially in the author’s technique.

The easiest way to understand it is by comparing traditional artwork: an artist is typically trained to follow a certain set of rules, such as color blending, staying within certain lines and using proper balance within details. Traditional literary works of art usually follow similar guidelines that pertain to their use of structure. Within the world of art, impressionistic pieces and abstract artwork defied the most common rules of painting, causing them to stand out in unusual ways.  It was the same within the literary arena; authors such as Earnest Hemingway and Gertrude Stein defied these basic styles on purpose to see what people’s responses would be. Such works of art are referred to as “experimental” since the outcome is undetermined at the time.

Perhaps the most famous experimental story is The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger. This experimental book defied common rules of language and grammar by the author’s liberal use of profanity and portrayal of sexuality. The novel was a tremendous success, selling more than 65 million copies worldwide.

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The Cather in the Rye by J.D. Salinger


Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll


Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell


A Clockwork Orange by Anthony Burgess


Slaugherthouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut



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