Momentism is a method of contingent writing which puts together gist of everyday life and extemporaneousness under an istinctual though well-skilled in reporting seal. It derives its rules from nonfiction novel (as well as from new journalism, faction and other disciplines merging journalism and fiction), and was decidedly inspired by Norman Mailer’s intuition: “History as a novel/The novel as history”.
The term was codified by STORIE All Write in 2001 in the Afternoon anthology (Leconte Press). Basically, what we asked the contributors to provide was a personal account, limiting them to from one to a maximum of thirty lines. On condition that this very account satisfy the requirement of taking place in the 10 minutes between 17.50 and 18.00 on April 19, 2001. Also it should be able to deliver an experience and a point of view.
The work title of the anthology was TEN MINUTES PROJECT to suggest the aim of capturing 10 ordinary minutes of an ordinary day in the ink of various wordsmiths from different countries.
The invitation was accepted by 140 writers, directors, poets, photographers, musicians here and there. From Adelaide to New York and to Anchorage, Robert Coover, T.C. Boyle, André Brink, Tess Gallagher, Kevin Smith, Rudy Rucker, Jerry Stahl, Robert Fripp, Thurston Moore, Graham Parker, Harry Mathews, Michael Tolkin, Niccolò Ammaniti, Carlo Lucarelli, Joseph McElroy, Björn Larsson, and many more were amongst them.
They reported what they saw and lived in the 10 appointed minutes, thus embracing a peculiar writing method which since then has been called Momentism and has taken form in various further sessions.