The Telephone Book. Ed Friedman. Power Mad Press / Telephone Books. 1979.

The Telephone Book.

Power Mad Press / Telephone Books, 1979. Item #2348

Perfect-bound in wrappers. Cover and drawings by Robert Kushner. This is from an edition of 1000 copies. Indicates “this project is supported by a grant from the National Endowment for the Arts … and also by Daddy.”

The Library of Congress summary of the book indicates that the book comprises “telephone conversations between Ed Friedman and various people from December 1977 to February 11, 1978.”

A comprehensive introduction by the author notes that the conversations were taped without prior knowledge from the participants, though he indicates he has changed the names of speakers and those mentioned. While participants are identified by pseudonymic first name only (except “Mom and Dad”), the first conversation is with “Maureen” — a reference to his publisher.

Friedman writes: “at the time I made these recordings and transcriptions, I had no intention of publishing them. I was interested in creating, for myself, a kind of personal, writer’s handbook on conversation. I wanted to: 1) see what conversational language looks like on the page when accurately transcribed; 2) better understand how much is being verbally communicated between people at any one time or in any single conversation; and 3) observe the speed at which events take place in someone’s life (my own), become a focus of attention and/or conversation, and then fade into the past.” As such, this conceptual work is well-served in the time-based media of a book.

This is from an edition of 1000 copies, of which 26 are lettered A to Z and signed by the author and artist. The colophon indicates that two sets of 26 copies are lettered A–Z and signed by the author and artist. This is letter "A," and is fine.

Price: $75.00

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