A (1968) by Andy Warhol is an innovative novel written as a Pop Art dialogue from taped conversations that discuss relevant concepts in modern art with a heightened sense of omniscience that creates a larger group of literary artists writing in the context of intertextuality. Andy Warhol writes/speaks in a casual style that is tuned into psychic group awareness that begins in the 1960s with two years of tape recorded conversations that create an American expressionist trend of speech written with inaccuracies of grammar: from gaps in the audio tape, from a one sided conversation overheard, from traffic sounds, and from other simultaneous voices interweaving in a collage of language that approaches the contemporary realism of New York street life. The theme of this monumental book/happening is social awareness with the transcription of conversations between two characters: Drella and Ondine based on Andy Warhol himself and Robert Olivo. The dialogue features an encounter with celebrity artist Robert Rauschenberg, with talk show hosts, and visits to well known restaurants, and begins with the characters Ondine and Drella speculating on art, sexuality, and the interesting characters on the New York scene.
The Last Words Are
The idea of the idealized Book is a concept introduced by Stéphane Mallarmé, and is being realized in this artistic effort by Drella and Ondine to achieve the ultimate in novelistic transcription of the intricacies of life onto the printed page. I think Andy Warhol has inspired others to consider the novel as an artform that is similar to avant garde classical music in its use of dialogue as sound for concrete and electronic music. I am reminded of Michel Butor who wrote Niagara: A Stereophonic Novel (1965) which is a dialogue for stereo speakers, and is part of the trend towards experimentation with the novel as it converges on tape recorded sound for audio broadcast.
David Detrich lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan where he has just completed The Convergence of Two Narrative Lines Ascending, an ultramodern Surrealist novel written in minimal squares. This year he is working on Dream the Presence of the Circular Breast Starfish Topography, a monumental Surrealist novel written with innovative typographical design. His first novel Big Sur Marvels & Wondrous Delights (2001) is available from Amazon. He edits Innovative Fiction Magazine and Surrealist Star Clustered Illuminations.