Poetic Monologues in Only Revolutions
A Review by
Only Revolutions (2006) by Mark Z. Danielewski is an innovative novel published by Pantheon Books—a division of Random House, New York—written with typographical design in two columns which represent poetic monologues by the characters Sam and Hailey. Each narrative can be read by turning the book over to find a different beginning: one for Sam and one for Hailey. The narrative includes historical notes in smaller type in the margins, while the innovative typographic design enhances the esthetic pleasure of the text making the poetic monologues easier to appreciate as a work of literary art: with the use of historical language from the settlers who used variations in spelling, the abstraction of individual words and letters, even using colored type for the letter o throughout the novel. Hiking through the mountains the narrator Hailey mentions plants and herbs from an informed perspective with occasional short phrases of dialogue in poetic portraits. Only Revolutions shows the influence of Susan Howe, Nouveau Roman novelist Michel Butor, and James Joyce. For those who seek a more poetic approach Mark Z. Danielewski has written a novel that is comparable to the literary classics of the 20th Century with a sophisticated typographic design that heightens the appreciation for the individual words and coined phrases.
In the first pages of the novel Hailey describes her hiking experience with descriptions of flowers and herbs from a naturalistic mountainscape, while her thoughts appear as an interior monologue with short phrases of intimate dialogue.
Giggles then dribble from my lips.
Mark of the Digital':
Mark Z. Danielewski’s
Only Revolutions (2006)
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 is the editor of Innovative Fiction Magazine and Surrealist Star Clustered Illuminations.