Novels/ Creative Works
DAVIS SCHNEIDERMAN is a multimedia artist and writer and the author and editor of eight books, including the novels Drain (TriQuarterly/Northwestern), Abecedarium (Chiasmus), BLANK: A Novel, [SIC], and INK. (Jaded Ibis); 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); as well as the audiocollage Memorials to Future Catastrophes (Jaded Ibis). His creative work has appeared in numerous publications including Fiction International, The Chicago Tribune, The Iowa Review, TriQuarterly, and Exquisite Corpse. He is Associate Dean of Faculty at Lake Forest College, and also Director of Lake Forest College Press / &NOW Books. He edits The &NOW AWARDS: The Best Innovative Writing.
Read more about the DEAD / BOOKS trilogy.
ART: orginal art by Susan White
SOUND: original music by Paul D Miller aka DJ Spooky
Davis Schneiderman's 206-page novel, Blank, contains only compelling chapter titles. The story is – as it always has been – up to the reader. White-on-white pyrographic images are by notable artist Susan White. The fine art edition is shrink-wrapped and enclosed in a wooden box that is fully encased in plaster and can be opened with a pull-tab. Once opened, the box cannot be re-encased. Music will be composed and performed by renowned experimental hip hop musician, Paul D Miller aka DJ Spooky.
This book helps preserve a culture, an environment, and a future for the arts. Half of our proceeds from the sale of this book help support the The Vanuatu Pacifica Project and Tanna Center for The Arts. The Project is a 14.8-acre off-the-grid artists retreat, cultural preservation and technological education space. Its site is situated on the island of Tanna's northern up-country, in the archipelago of Vanuatu.
Blank is the first part of the DEAD / BOOKS trilogy.
Praise for BLANK
"I received my copy of Blank yesterday, and began reading it last night in bed. I am accustomed to reading a few pages from a book, then turning out the light as soon as I become drowsy. But Blank was a different experience: I could not put it down until I had read it from cover to cover. And now it is burned in my memory. I feel certain it is a book I will read again and again."
H. L. Hix, National Book Award poetry finalist
SIC—the Latin abbreviation for “as written”—is a completely appropriated text, including public domain works Schneiderman published under his name, including “Cademon’s Hymn” and section of Hamlet and The Canterbury Tales. SIC also includes works under in the public domain after 1923, and so offers transcriptions of the first 30 Tweets, Wikipedia pages, intellectual property law, genetic codes, and other untoward appropriations. The text pivots on Jorge Luis Borges’s story: “Pierre Menard, Author of Don Quixote,” taking the publication history of the story, in all languages, through a replicated series of auto-translations.
SIC uses images from visual artist Andi Olsen, and contains an introduction by Oulipo member Daniel Levin Becker. The fine-art edition ($24,998.98) is packaged with a biological pathogen, which the reader may choose to deploy over the text. In this way, the book SIC will make the reader sick—sick about the state of contemporary copyright.
SIC is the second part of the DEAD / BOOKS trilogy.
Praise for [SIC]
"A masterpiece. A cry from hell, a brutal, terrifying, and savagely funny book that swings between uncontrolled hallucination and fierce, exact satire. An absolutely devastating ridicule of all that is false, primitive, and vicious in current American life. Schneiderman is the only American novelist living today who may conceivably be possessed by genius."
Marcus Book, author of In Praise of Copying
"This book is all about breaking down the boundaries that we've inherited from the ruins of the 20th century. There is no way that you can put this book down and not feel how much this century is different from the last. It's kind of like a roller coaster without handbrakes. You wait for the finale, but realize it's all in the mix. Highly recommended."
Paul D. Miller aka DJ Spooky, musician, conceptual artist, and author of Book of Ice
"SIC elegantly draws our attention to a fortuitous coincidence: that 1923, a crucial year for U.S. copyright law, happens to be one of the high points of Anglo-American modernism, a movement which, according to one understanding, profoundly transformed literature through radical practices of collage, appropriation, and textual sampling. By applying the bold technique of what Borges’ narrator of “Pierre Menard” calls “erroneous attribution” to a range of varied texts—from The Canterbury Tales to a transcription of the moon landing, from Ulysses to the Emergency Broadcast Test—Schneiderman has made a fascinating contribution to this tradition and has created a rich and strange mosaic that delightfully raises important questions about authorship, cultural literacy, intellectual property, canonicity, and what constitutes the 'literary' in the twenty-first century."
Michael Leong, author of The Philosophy of Decomposition/Re-Composition as Explanation: A Poe and Stein Mash-Up
INK. is a book hand-dipped in ink. INK. erases, redacts, and overwrites itself, ink extending and overtaking its surface. Schneiderman will also put his library at risk for the release of INK. Any person who buys INK. may choose a book from Schneiderman’s library which Schneiderman must then destroy. He will send evidence of the remains to the purchaser.
INK. contains photos from visual artist Tim Guthrie, obscured by ink. The fine-art edition ($24,999.99) will be hand-dipped in human ink: Davis Schneiderman’s blood.
INK. is the third part of the DEAD / BOOKS trilogy.
It's the year 2039, and Lake Michigan is mysteriously emptied of water. The planet's atmosphere and magnetic field are failing, and fires burn ominously throughout the empty lake bed.
In this seemingly endless desert east of Chicago, three factions are locked in conflict: the original end-of-times cultist settlers who follow religious visionary Fulcrum Maneuvers and worship a giant World Worm they deem responsible for the drained lake; the megacorporation Quadrilateral, a mega-consumerist, planned-community combine of bourgeois city planners developing what is now called the Wildland-Urban Interface; and the Blackout Angels, landlocked punk pirates raised in Quadrilateral cities, who oppose everything and everyone.
In Davis Schneiderman's shocking novel, Drain, freedom, creativity, and transgression wage war with forces of control, censorship, and conformity. The wordscapes of William S. Burroughs and Thomas Pynchon, the dystopic nightmares of Philip K. Dick, and the transgressive punch of Chuck Palahniuk and Georges Bataille together convene in this stunning and thrilling work.
Praise for Drain
"Drain is a post-American post-apocalyptic novel of excess, at once hilarious and brutal, with all the over-the-top energy and weird delight of a psychedelic cartoon. A mash-up of worm-worshipping cultists, a corporation committed to colonizing the deadland that used to be one of the Great Lakes with planned communities, and more, Schneiderman's latest warns us about what's next if we're not careful while creating an outrageous cultural critique that Bataille, Burroughs, and Acker would be proud of."
Lance Olsen, author of Head in Flames
"Think the poetic stew/spew of an illegitimate son of Wm. Burroughs and K. Acker in a mid-21st century Midwest comix reverie of punk hoodlums as if ashioned by Elmore Leonard gone mad as Lear upon Mackinac Island, the great lakes likewise gone cloacal, the Post-American wind done gone wrong, and all of it a gleeful earful of eloquent Ballardian-cum-Bardic effluvia, and you've almost got what Schneiderman's fashioned in Drain; a headily obscene (in the root sense) tour de-literal- force beyond anything you can, or perhaps ought to, imagine, but which you will not forget."
Michael Joyce, author of was: annales nomadique, a novel of internet
"Schneiderman has become a literary postmodern real-estate developer–slash–water-reclamation engineer from Mars."
Cris Mazza, author of Trickle-down Timeline
"Don't you dare blink. Not even once. There is no time to blink and there is too much at stake with looking away or awry. Davis Schneiderman's prose is lightning. Mad flashes of electric energy. I'm not even sure if this guy actually writes sentences. I think he has invented something else to carry his stories. No good old-fashioned sentence could possibly contain the crazed linguistic feats and actions packed into every moment, every movement of Schneiderman's language. I was exhausted when I finished reading Drain. And perhaps even more so, I was unnerved. Schneiderman's narrative hijinx will change the way you think you think. Each sentence is a fit, a sputter of theoretical rage. I know something now, something that worries me and I am not sure what to do with this new way for knowing. I am not sure if I should thank Schneiderman or run for the hills. Schneiderman does what good writers must do: he tells riveting stories that change how we see into the world. His characters, his plots, twist us out of our comfortably numb rocking chairs and wake us up."
Doug Rice, author of Blood of Mugwump
"Drain is the Clockwork Orange of our age, and anyone who cares about what we are becoming should read this book lest it become prophetic."
Steve Tomasula, author of TOC: A New Media Novel
With only a few set rules to bind the ten chapters together (each vignette includes a Chinese Dragon, a mention of Carnival, etc.), Abecedarium follows the protagonist Fex-a post-industrial, pre-apocalyptic Everyman-through the absurdities of a world that forces him to act always in his own self interest. Fex's anachronistic tour of history leads him to France during the Nazi occupation, a steak-eating contest in the bowels of Arkansas, a Sotheby's auction of his much-coveted DNA, and a nightmarish reality-TV show that delights in his contractual obligation to simultaneously observe and participate. Nauseating calla lilies, the human genome, and a talking dog possessed by the devil all play integral roles in the aggregate of meaninglessness Fex boldly confronts, disassembles, and reshapes into the genetic code of the entire explosive novel.
Praise for Abecedarium
"Sleek like a culture-jamming missile, satisfying like a cheap bottle of wine, ferocious like a genetically modified Carnival Dragon, Abecedarium rolls all three into one mother of a tale."
Raymond Federman, author of Return to Manure and twenty other books of fiction, poetry, and criticism
with Remixes by James Tadd Adcox, Matt Bell, Molly Gaudry, Roxane Gay, Lily Hoang, Matt Kirkpatrick, Alissa Nutting, Kathleen Rooney, Ben Tanzer; Introductions by Craig Saper; & an afterword by William Walsh
First released by Spuyten Duyvil in 2006 as a limited fine-arts edition, Multifesto is a provocative novel that traces the life of the fabricated Henri d’Mescan, a fictional cultural theorist, philosopher, and writer. The character’s public image is manipulated by the political and aesthetic agendas of his two editors: Davis Schneiderman and Phoenelia Yeer.
The novel is constructed from pastiches of footnotes, abstracts, propaganda, marginalia, and movie scripts to subvert the form of the introductory college “Reader.” Using falsified historical documentation and fabricated scholarship to function as both fiction and history, Multifesto broadens the novel form, building upon the experimental tradition of writers and incorporating fragments from authors as diverse as William S. Burroughs, Sun Ra, and Jean Genet.
The various contributors to the “Remix” edition, each taking their own spin on their assignment, provide provocative, hilarious, and disastrously original remixes to Schneiderman’s original text. The remixes offer Madlibs, metafiction, and word searches, all remaining as sinuous and unpredictable as the elusive Henri d’Mescan.
Praise for Multifesto
"Open Multifesto anywhere, careful reader, and your feet will come unmoored from the ground, your liver will be eaten by hungry jackals, substituting for an eagle, and your eyes, feeding your brain phrases such as I AM READING A BOOK, will grow thick with beautiful cataracts. The text spins like a square planet into untold dimensions of heat and light—where heat, no longer warm, and light, no longer bright, are free to assume new costumes in a Mardi Gras drag show."
Raymond Federman, author of Return to Manure and twenty other books of fiction, poetry, and criticism
"Very seldom does a book come along that’s as difficult to characterize as Davis Schneiderman’s Multifesto: A Henri d’Mescan Reader, a baroque architecture of writing, a wedding-cake of literary history, criticism, politics, and art. It’s as though Duchamp, Deleuze and Guattari, and Burroughs have collaborated to create a work that is part artist book, part biography, part album, all send-up—a work that is determined to throw the definition of literature into flux once again."
Steve Tomasula, author of The Book of Portraiture
"This is a stunningly original work deserving of careful, and multiple, readings by anybody interested in where American literature is headed… Multifesto soars with electrifying lyricism, the improbable poetry of ideas that cut with diamantine precision while also managing to lay bare what it means to be human even in the most in- or post-human of landscapes."
Leora Lev, American Book Review