When the poem and the novel go to bed together
If one were to look at genre when it comes to fiction, the numerous categories that novels would belong to nowadays would not find a well-known label as “lyrical novel” when it comes to general classifications. The purposes of marketing related to the publishing industry would generally mark novels being classified by their subject matter and the theme of the story -romance, crime, political fiction, thriller, horror, mystery, and so on. And when it comes to classifications based on a more academic orientation novels could be categorized for their relations to theoretical grounds -modernist, postmodernist, post-colonial, Migrant Writing etc. But it appears that when the idea of the “lyrical novel” is approached it marks a distinct basis of formal distinctions being the means by which is it identified. In other words, it is the narrative form that creates the basis on which it may be placed in such a genre over concerns of what the story of the novel is about.
The conventional novel has a set of expectations to fulfill for the reader, when it comes to the aspect of narrative. This "expectation of narrative" as termed so by Freedman is to do with some of the most salient fulfillments such as -plot structure, character exposition and development, successions in time (the chronology factor) as well as certain questions of ethics (perhaps social), which the novel as a work of art would deal with.
When it comes to the identifying of defining qualities of the lyrical novel, Snyder cites Freedman in saying that elements of lyrical poetry combined to create paradoxes in their meanings and created new expanses in "metaphoric suggestiveness" which could not be achieved through "purely narrative means," which one may safely assume is what the conventional novel form would not offer. The technique of weaving a fabric of images therefore is one of the foremost crafts of a lyrical novel. In a way its imagery becomes a sequence of narrative that builds the idea in the subtleness of poetry.
The reader may not find the whole story with all its expectations neatly laid out as in the conventional novel and therefore the fitting together of the “picture” may become a task placed upon the reader in the case of works like lyrical novels.
And I think the spectacle is worth watching. The hybridization of these two mediums of literary expression provides some of the best reading experiences to be had.