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Walter Abish
99:The New Meaning

1990
5 collage texts
with 6 photographs by Cecile Abish
112 pages, offset, smyth-sewn
ISBN 0-930901-66-5, paper $14
ISBN 0-930901-67-3, cloth $25

5 texts that use collage as an instrument to probe the nature of fiction, narrative continuity, structure, tone, language, even the concept of authorship. They do not give us a make-belief "world", but as it were invite the reader to come onto the scaffolding and participate in the process of construction.

Walter Abish's peregrinations have led him from Vienna to New York City, via China and Israel. He has received many prizes, including the Pen Faulkner for How German Is It and a MacArthur Fellowship.

Cecile Abish's installations and photo work have been widely exhibited. Recent exhibitions include "Say When," Center for Creative Photography in Tuscon, AZ and "Landmarks" at Bard College, NY. "Abish is obsessed with language... Each text contains sentences from other texts... There is a tension between the arbitrary text and the conscious placement of the text in the overarching structure."

--Irving Matlin, Review of Contemporary Fiction

"Abish requires the reader to suspend the conventional idea of fiction as continuous narrative, to suspend as well the ordinary notions of creativity, and to confront the challenge of the text as endlessly manipulable object rather than inviolable whole. Other authors, from Joyce to Beckett have asked something of the sort, but Abish, with a panache already familiar to admirers of his earlier work, pushes the boundaries of fiction still further, challenging settled notions of language and structure and redefining the generic possibilities of his art."

--William Doreski, The Literary Review