The Best American Book of the 20th Century*
Artist(s)/Author(s): Sociéte Réaliste
Format: Book
Edition: 1000
ISBN: 978-94-91677-26-7
Publisher: Onomatopee
Date Aired/Exhibited: 11/20/2002
City Produced/Published: Eindhoven
Venue: Onomatopee
Reference Number: ST.34378.SO
Location: Stacks
Acquisition Date: 1/6/2023
Copies: 1

"As The Best American Book of the 20th Century travels through an entire century of mass-produced literature, it suggests intertextual relationships between the narratives of American fiction. Since a multitude of changes in time and culture converse in the book, which is composed by artist collective Société Réaliste, the project transverses the usual, formal standards of language, questioning power dynamics between reader and writer. Are Pearl S. Buck, Sinclair Lewis, Ernest Hemingway, Margaret Mitchell, Ayn Rand, John Steinbeck, Daphne du Maurier, J. D. Salinger, Stephen King and Toni Morrison basically telling a similar story? Do they, through this project, become the collective authors of one all-encompassing book? Is the project an opportunity to re-assess and reflect upon modernity’s spell on our collective imagination? And, ultimately, how does its composed text resonate in our present times? In this book, each sentence is footnoted with its reference. Ten sentences form one paragraph, representing one year. Ten paragraphs form one chapter, representing one decade. The book represents a century: the American Century. Arrives courtesy of Onomatopee (Eindhoven)."

- D.R. 

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