Thanks for the explanation. I wasn't that offended. (Well there is a difference between "stern letter to the editor" offended and "burn your house down" offended. :-) You're right epic doesn't cover the whole range. Gravity's Rainbow in particular is an an anti-epic. How about just literature?
Incidentally two really imaginative and thought-provoking short story collections I''ve read recently are collected works of Jorge Luis Borges and Phillip K. Dick. I'd heartily recommend to monks looking for a good read.