He also points out that Barnes's approach to fiction is marked by "generic fabulation" (6) and draws from Robert Scholes's examination of the concept in his 1967 study The Fabulators
and his 1979 book Fabulation and Metaafiction, to analyse the ways in which Barnes's work combines realism, experimentation and self-reflexivity in a variety of forms and genres.
For example, Robert Scholes identified black humor with the recurrent intellectual reaction of artists to the limitations of realism, defining its writers as master fabulators
in the tradition of the Romance and its baroque configurations, writers who are all absorbed by the possibilities of playful and artful construction (35-46).
such as Janet Cooke, the Washington Post reporter who won a Pulitzer Prize by inventing an eight-year-old heroin addict, or Jayson Blair, whose imaginary datelines and fictive interviews turned the New York Times upside down, are purged from the profession; the ritual defenestrations of minor plagiarists in Boston or Des Moines are well publicized.
In The Fabulators
(1967) Robert Scholes praised Hawkes's picaresque mode of fiction, placing his novels next to those of Lawrence Durrell and Kurt Vonnegut.
liberate the plot from its mimetic function postulated by Aristotle and rediscover its significance as a necessary element of the literary artifice.
In all probability, future British followers of these three fabulators
will bring this lost mode back to Albion - unless, of course, the process has already begun.
Instead of being seen as earnest transmitters of any inherent Germanic puissance, these writers now emerged as self-conscious fabulators
writing above all in a learned, literary, and Christian tradition.