The opening of Walter Abish’s 1974 novel, Alphabetical Africa:
Ages ago, Alex, Allen and Alva arrived at Antibes, and Alva allowing all, allowing anyone, against Alex’s admonition, against Allen’s angry assertion: another African amusement . . . anyhow, as all argued, an awesome African army assembled and arduously advanced against an African anthill, assiduously annihilating ant after ant, and afterward, Alex astonishingly accuses Albert as also accepting Africa’s antipodal ant annexation. Albert argumentatively answers at another apartment. Answers: ants are Ameisen. Ants are Ameisen?
Africa again: Antelopes, alligators, ants and attractive Alva, are arousing all angular Africans, also arousing author’s analytically aggressive anticipations, again and again. Anyhow author apprehends Alva anatomically, affirmatively and also accurately.
Ages ago an archeologist, Albert, alias Arthur, ably attended an archaic African armchair affair at Antibes, attracting attention as an archeologist and atheist. Ahhh, atheism . . . anyhow, Albert advocated assisting African ants. Ants? All are astounded. Ants? Absurd.
Africa again: Albert arrives, alive and arguing about African art, about African angst and also, alas, attacking Ashanti architecture, as author again attempts an agonizing alphabetical appraisal . . . asked about affection, Albert answers, Ashanti affection also aesthetically abhorrent, antagonizing all. As alien airforce attacks Angola, Albert asks, are anthills anywhere about, agreeing as Alex asserts, all Angolans are absolute asses.
Are all archeologists arrogant Aristotelians, asks author, as Angolans abduct Alva. Adieu Alva. Arrivederci.
After air attack author assumes Alva’s asexuality affected African army’s ack-ack accuracy, an arguable assumption, anyhow, army advances, annihilating antelopes, alligators and ants. Admirable attrition admits Ashanti admiral as author all alone autographs Ashanti atlas, authenticating anthill actions. Actually, asks Alva, are all Ashanti alike.
Apprehending Africa: always, as an afternoon abates an ant advances, also antelopes, alligators, archeologists, African ankles, African amulets and amorous Angolan abductors. Abductors all agreed about abhorrent acts, about air attacks, about Alva and Alex and Allen all apart.
Africa again: Angolans applaud author, after author allegedly approached an American amateur aviator, and angrily argued against America’s anachronistic assault. Afterward all applaud as author awarded avocado and appointed acting alphabet authority.
Alex and Allen alone, arrive in Abidjan and await African amusements.
In the second chapter, all the words begin with “b,” in the third, “c,” etc.