Breaking and entering. Theft. Racketeering. Probably not the first words that come to mind when you think of Chuck Palahniuk’s Fight Club. One of the most popular modern works of transgressive literature, this layered and conceptually driven story is filled with as many criminal acts as The Godfather trilogy. So why does Fight Club fall into the transgressive category instead of crime? First, let’s look at what transgressive literature actually is.
“If it sounds like writing, I rewrite it.” These famous words from Elmore Leonard sum up the style of one of the most influential crime fiction writers of our time. In Elmore Leonard’s 10 Rules of Writing, he even goes on to say “I can’t allow what we learned in English composition to disrupt the sound and rhythm of the narrative.”