Innovation’s Altar (or, what’s So New about Innovation?)

Regarding “Innovation Redux” by Malachi Black and this post by Ron Silliman (which were both partially responding to something I wrote regarding innovation): I find that one of the sticking points on this subject is that “innovation” is often defined too broadly, or not defined at all. And so it’s easy for terms like “innovative writing” to become confused with terms like “experimental writing” or “the avant-garde.” (These terms might at times be synonyms, but not always.)

To innovate literally means “to introduce something new.”But it also means to “make changes in anything established.” Which is the historical meaning of the word’s root: “to renew, alter.” Many people (myself included) often forget this.

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