This article reflects upon the ways in which recent stylistics can improve the understanding of
experimental fiction. After a quick survey of linguistic approaches in literary theory and of
Dutch literary stylistics, I will focus on two directions in recent stylistics, literary pragmatics
and cognitive stylistics, and illustrate their potential value for the interpretation of
experimental narratives. More specifically, I will briefly demonstrate these approaches in a
reading of Ivo Michiels’s Book alpha (1963) and Orchis militaris (1968).