Transgressive Fiction Today
In the 1990s, transgressive fiction authors like Chuck Palahniuk, Bret Easton Ellis, and Irvine Welsh shocked, disgusted, and offended audiences with their depictions of terrorizing, murdering, and drug-abusing characters whose bad behavior rejected and subverted the Western hegemony of neoliberalism. But their behavior was only seen as “shocking” or “transgressive” because of its blatant opposition to the dominant paradigm. What does it mean to transgress norms, boundaries, and conventions in today’s post-9/11 world, when the paradigms of whiteness, masculinity, heteronormativity, etc. are not necessarily viewed as the ultimate gatekeepers of what is normal, standard, correct, or expected?