Tag Archives: Novels

1974: Author Awarded Avocado

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 … Continue reading

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1927: Work in Progress

On May 20, 1927, James Joyce wrote to Harriet Shaw Weaver about what should happen if he were unable to complete Finnegans Wake. Another writer, Joyce said, should take it up and finish it; he had the person in mind: … Continue reading

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1936: Then It Will Be Over

Here we are, alone again. It’s all so slow, so heavy, so sad … I’ll be old soon. Then at last it will be over. So many people have come into my room. They’ve talked. They haven’t said much. They’ve … Continue reading

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1953: Description

As for his feet, sometimes he wore on each a sock, or on the one a sock and on the other a stocking, or a boot, or a shoe, or a slipper, or a sock and a boot, or a … Continue reading

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1957: Description

From Alain Robbe-Grillet’s 1957 novel, Jealousy: Now the shadow of the southwest column– at the corner of the veranda on the bedroom side– falls across the garden. The sun, still low in the eastern sky, rakes the valley from the … Continue reading

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2001: Was the Silence Gloomy?

Gilbert Sorrentino’s 2001 novel Gold Fools is written entirely in questions. Here are the opening paragraphs: Were Nort Shannon, Dick Shannon, and Bud Merkel exceptionally morose as they sat before the small bunkhouse and about the flames of the blazing … Continue reading

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1922: Description of a Demon

The hum of talk drowned the words, but leaning forward Lessingham saw where the arras curtains behind the dais parted for a moment, and one of princely bearing advanced past the high seats down the body of the hall. His … Continue reading

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