What is experimental literature? How has experimentation affected the course of literary history, and how is it shaping literary expression today? Literary experiment has always been diverse and challenging, but never more so than in our age of digital media and social networking, when the very category of the literary is coming under intense pressure. How will literature reconfigure itself in the future?

The Routledge Companion to Experimental Literature maps this expansive and multifaceted field, with essays on:

  • the history of literary experiment from the beginning of the twentieth century to the present
  • the impact of new media on literature, including multimodal literature, digital fiction and code poetry
  • the development of experimental genres from graphic narratives and found poetry through to gaming and interactive fiction
  • experimental movements from Futurism and Surrealism to Postmodernism, Avant-Pop and Flarf.

Shedding new light on often critically neglected terrain, the contributors introduce this vibrant area, define its current state, and offer exciting new perspectives on its future.

This volume is the ideal introduction for those approaching the study of experimental literature for the first time or looking to further their knowledge.

chapter |18 pages


part |2 pages

PART I The historical avant-gardes

chapter |13 pages

The literary absurd

chapter |14 pages

Lettrism and situationism

chapter |13 pages

OuLiPo and proceduralism

chapter |13 pages


chapter |13 pages


chapter |12 pages


chapter |15 pages

Altermodernist fiction

chapter |14 pages

Manifestos and Ars Poetica

part |2 pages

PART III Experiment now: beyond the page