andy devine

Andy Devine vs. Davis Schneiderman

(Adam’s note: The other day I was rummaging around in Andy Devine’s gross apartment trying to stomp on a cockroach when I came across a box of cassettes. “What are these, Andy?” I asked. He was passed out on a crap-ass couch. “Mix tapes,” he grunted, “for old girlfriends.” I doubted that. I played one. It was a conversation with Davis Schneiderman. “What are you doing with this interview with Davis Schneiderman, Andy?” I asked. He rolled over on the couch. “Nothing, because I don’t like his cocky last comments.” So I took the tape home with me, transcribed it, and I present it to you now. It’s great. Andy really contextualized and problematizes Schneiderman’s new novel, Blank. Who better than the author of Words to ask questions in a way that points to how much content exists within a book that has no words. Roxane wrote about the book here, should you want more.)

Davis Schneiderman is a multimedia artist and writer and the author or editor of eight print and audio works, including the novels Drain (TriQuarterly/Northwestern) and Blank: a novel (Jaded Ibis), with audio from Dj Spooky; the co-edited collections Retaking the Universe: Williams S. Burroughs in the Age of Globalization (Pluto) and The Exquisite Corpse: Chance and Collaboration in Surrealism’s Parlor Game (Nebraska). His creative work has appeared in numerous publications including Fiction International, The Chicago Tribune, The Iowa Review, TriQuarterly, and Exquisite Corpse, and he is a contributor to The Nervous Breakdown and Big Other. 2010-11 appearances include the University of Notre Dame, the Ukrainian Embassy in D.C, the Chicago Cultural Center, the University of London Institute in Paris, and The New School, among others. He is Chair of the English Department at Lake Forest College, and also Director of Lake Forest College Press/&NOW Books. He edits The &NOW AWARDS: The Best Innovative Writing.

Andy Devine: How did you decide between BLANK and, say, BLANKS or something entirely different for the title?
Davis Schneiderman: I’ve always been fascinated by the titles of musical works, particularly mid-twentieth century jazz compositions. I think how different a work such as Charles Mingus’ “Orange Was the Color of Her Dress, Then Blue Silk” would be if it were called “Untitled” or “Round Midnight” or “Rocket Number 9 Take Off for the Planet Venus” (Sun Ra). The title of minimalist art works can also function in the same way—coding the text or painting or sculpture in a way that is different than how the title of a non-conceptual work might function. Would The Da Vinci Codes have been the same book? What about Chicken Soup for the Souls? For the most part, probably, except that the latter might have approached self-help from a pantheist perspective. READ MORE >

Author Spotlight / 17 Comments
March 18th, 2011 / 3:09 pm

“Only jackasses use ‘whom’.”

Andy Devine Does Teleportal… from Monofonus Press on Vimeo.

Dandy Dandy Andy Devine.

Author Spotlight / 4 Comments
December 14th, 2010 / 3:18 pm

{LMC}: On Andy Devine’s “Apartment City”

Please enjoy a copy of Andy Devine’s Apartment City. If you would like to have the full PDF of NY Tyrant 8 so you can participate in this month’s LMC discussions, get in touch. But still, when you buy a literary magazine, an angel gets its wings so consider buying a copy.

Catalogued along so many strong-voiced stories and stylistic usages, Andy Devine’s “Apartment City,” can seem out of place. More of an invoice than a story, it’s simply an index of all of a decomposed novel’s words and the number of times in which they appear. Here’s a  chapter:


Question (4x), questions (20x), quiet (37x).

Q’s simple. The entry for L is a hell of a lot longer, and the thought of reading through the whole thing, repeats and all, from “1 (4x)” all the way to “.(5728x)”  is ridiculous. Who would? Maybe on a dare, or if you had something to prove. Maybe. But it’s an interesting experiment, and it says something about the nature of writing. It calls out something that’s essentially obvious, though often overlooked: writing is made up of words. Arrangement also matters.

Beyond, or behind, the Oulipian humor, speaks a necessary mythology. Rumor has it that, before there was any list, there was a real novel―in the sense that we normally think of novel. Rather than print it as it was, the strutctures of English were replaced with those of data retrieval. What would have that book been like, this mythology asks. Of course, with just the raw ingredients, and nothing of the composition, there’s no way to recreate the lost book. Instead there is the essence of uncountable, also unwritten, books. What we get is pre-digested, pro-biotic literature. Analysis has already been performed, but according to the rules of a separate discipline. It’s like Quinault’s 100000 sonnets. It recalls the character in If On A Winter’s Night A Traveler, who develops a machine to interpret fiction based on a novel’s distribution of words. “Apartment City” is the code on which such an apparatus would definitely operate.

The novelty feeling, while sometimes primary, is undercut by the excerpt’s invitation to a different sort of reading. You could read this piece like a minimalist chorale, twenty eight voices simlutaneously dictating. The pluralization of “come (25x)” to “comes (2x)” could provide a shocking release, some sort of drone masterpiece. You could read word after word, you could admire the way    “downtown” foreshadows “dress (15x), …, drink (33x), drinking (12x), …, driving (4x), …, drove away (7x), …, dusk(2x).” You could giggle at the way “policemen (14x), polish, ponytail, pool (5x), popped, pose, posed, position, positions (2x), possible, pot (8x)” insinuates any number of high school fantasies.

More likely, the most pleasure you can take from this sort of exercise is in the fact that it even exists. It’s a mind toy, like the best fiction and poetry, a concept with only the thinnest material clothing, alien and humdrum. It reminds you narrative is only one way to stimulate memory, but it gives no other advice.

Literary Magazine Club / 5 Comments
November 11th, 2010 / 2:00 pm

Being Andy Devine

Along with the great discussion about how to read Andy Devine’s work in the LMC (which, really, is just cool), today at Electric Literature’s blog, Julia Jackson posts a write-up about Being Andy Devine, Andy’s tour across the states. Next stop, Solar Anus.

Events / 7 Comments
November 4th, 2010 / 3:32 pm

The winners of the weird words for Words contest are Sabra Embury & Sean K. Their entries, respectively:

A fall, it takes, eats–mother crams him, burnt and opaque; her glimpses diamond heavy, dog tired dead, yes–their wall runs blood.


Her fall: a tired mother glimpses their dead dog’s burnt, opaque blood, “Diamond, yes!” wall-runs and takes him, eats, crams it.


Please email satorpress at gmail dot com to claim your book.

Live Giants with Michael Kimball

You missed the 4th Live Giants reading with Michael Kimball, and Andy Devine.

Through tomorrow you can get Devine’s Words for $8 from PG here.

Consider checking out their work, here and here.

Web Hype / 42 Comments
April 29th, 2010 / 9:14 pm

1. Please welcome the newest Giant contributor, the radical Kristen Iskandrian, who rules.
2. Don’t forget tonight at 9 PM Eastern (again, 6 PM for you west coast freaks) Michael Kimball will read live here on HTMLGIANT, with a guest opening reading by Andy Devine. See you there!

Live Giants 4 with Michael Kimball

This Thursday April 29, at 9 PM Eastern, Michael Kimball, author of Dear Everybody and more, will read live here at HTMLGIANT from his home in Baltimore. Special guest appearance by Andy Devine, author of the newly released Words. Mark your book and bring your good hat.

Behind the Scenes / 7 Comments
April 26th, 2010 / 3:02 pm

5 eggbread proposals

1. Many editors, for many reasons, are only going to read your first paragraph. So this book be wicked. Opening paragraphs from all over literature, swathed and scissored by Donald Newlove’s mind. Tough to find? So, go looking. I got mine in 4 days for $4.

2. An interview of WORDS by Andy Devine at JMWW.

3. “Microscopic explorations of buds, calyxes and resin.” Yes, yes, just relax, get some nachos, and enjoy 4/20.

4. I think we need more Oulipo.

5. Or blow the fucking shack up.


Author News / 10 Comments
April 20th, 2010 / 2:55 pm

How does Luca Dipierro do it? Check out the trailer he made for WORDS, by Andy Devine.