A review, and links to other information about and reviews of Alphabetical Africa by Walter Abish. Walter Abish has dovetailed his novel within a Procrustean scheme that has the terrifying and irrefutable logic of the alphabet. Alphabetical. Alphabetical Africa kept cropping up again and again, so here it is. In this novel, as you can probably tell from the first line quoted above, there.

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As letters were added to the alphabet the story became clearer, but never to an extent that I was intrigued by it. It was still in print in By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use. This is ironic, given that the frame within which the story must operate is so rigorous at the beginning; as the rigor progressively lessens, so An excellent work of experimental fiction in novel form, Alphabetical Africa relies on a rather eccentric structural constraint in alpphabetical to develop its quirky, improbable and hilarious narrative.

Lists with This Book. The vocabulary is expanded, letter by letter and chapter by chapter, through Z.

So it is not clear how we are expected to attend to the alliterations. Refresh and try again. The effect is that the story begins somewhat chaotically and formlessly. There is no way around it. Media reporter, reviewer, abiish, guest booker, blogger. One point of dispute is whether the failures to meet the constraint are intentional, and therefore potentially meaningful, or are simply editing mistakes.

Alphabetical Africa is, quite surprisingly, a riveting read.

In the latter half of the book, the letters of each chapter correspond with the last time words beginning with that letter can be used. Jan 24, Rolland rated it really liked it.

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Alphabetical Africa

The United States Of America. I dreamt of this book last night, though I didn’t dream of the plot.

Jul 30, Leo Robertson rated it it was amazing. While the “geoglyphic” African landscape forms and crumbles, it is, amo Alphabetical AfricaWalter Abish’s delightful first novel, is an extraordinary linguistic tour de force, high comedy set in an imaginary dark continent that expands and contracts with ineluctable precision, as one by one the author adds the letters of the alphabet to his book, and then subtracts them.

In the end, it seemed to me that this is a lighthearted spoof about American attitudes to Africa in the s, placed, for reasons I think the author himself never entirely analyzed, into the “terrifying and irrefutable” Procrustean frame of a linguistic game. Walter Abish was born in Vienna, Austria. I think this matters because in the Oulipo tradition, the stories that are told have some correspondence, in tone, philosophy, pointlessness, absurdity, and so on, to the rules the authors imposed on themselves.

Alphabetical Africa Walter Abish No preview available – There are no discussion topics on this book yet. A wonderful little novel in the vein of Mid-Century Experimental Fiction Written Largely By White Dudes Who Look Kind Of Hideous, which is to say the narrative both 1 is incomprehensible through most of the work and 2 nevertheless moves along steadily and strangely and mesmerizingly like lava down the side of a volcano.

Although this was very clever, and surprisingly easily read once you add some B and C words, the tale was not the thing. O ver all, it is fairly imaginative but it lacks focus and often digresses into abstraction.

Questions?

Joint description with post modern broken phrases, it africw like watching a play with fast pace rhythm. It’s hard to judge a book this experimental: Complete and utter nonsense.

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Perec, of course, wrote something called La Disparitiona novel allergic to letter “e” in French. Nov 15, John Wiswell rated it really liked it Recommends it for: Leave a Reply Cancel reply Enter your comment here Second, I agree that the plot is occasionally amusing, but wouldn’t say it is particularly engaging or inventive, and Alphanetical using the Swahili dictionary in the way that it is used in the story is more of a cheap trick.

Gustof’s gastronomical gladness cannot conceal Gustaf’s bloated belly, Germany’s generals gloomily admit as gifted Gustaf entertains Alva at Gabon’s best diner. Sounds like a Xfrica curious book!

Alphabetical Africa – Wikipedia

Alphabetical Africa kept cropping up again and again, so here it is. Part of the pleasure is like that of reading a rhymed poem, of knowing what must come at the end of the next line, but there is more to it here, since it is a larger constraint.

Alphabetical Africa, Walter Abish’s delightful first novel, is an extraordinary linguistic tour de force, high comedy set in an imaginary dark continent that expands and contracts with ineluctable precision, as one by one the author adds the avrica of the alphabet to his book, and then subtracts them.

I knew we would soon have to say goodbye to avrica queen but I hardly noticed her absence. Gifted Grosseres Germany consumes energy and guarantees greatness, get going, grow another Goethe, great guy, claims Gustaf, as all Grundit gramophones in Gabon, gently croon: