Notes on Blogging Aesthetics XVI
We might think about the avant-garde practice that I have proposed as a means of redeploying the three rhetorical principles of organization: narration, exposition and poetics. The traditional allocation, of course, assigns narration to the novel, exposition to the essay, and poetics to the poem, an arrangement ensuring that each of the traditional forms will be structured around a dominant mode. The avant-garde, on the other hand, demonstrates that an author producing a text always finds himself, like someone playing a video game, provided with three knobs, labeled narrative, expository, poetic. At any point during the text's creation, he can adjust the balance (as one would adjust a television's colors), thereby increasing (or reducing) the level of any of the three.
-- Robert Ray, The Avant-Garde Finds Andy Hardy