Chicago Review's interest in experimental fiction continued throughout the late-1970s and the early-1980s, even as the magazine published mainstream fiction by the likes of Edmund White, Stuart Dybek, Stephen Dixon, and Frederick Busch. There was a special section on "Very Short Fiction" in the Autumn 1978 issue, a set of essays on "Recent Fiction Et Cetera" in Spring 1980, and successive issues in 1982 and 1983 devoted to "In/Re/Novative Fiction." The latter included Samuel Beckett's "As the Story Was Told" and an essay on his novel L'Innommable, which was first serialized in Chicago Review in the Summer 1958 issue. Gilbert Sorrentino, John Mella, and Beth Tashery Shannon also made appearances in these issues. Tom Beckett's "Volumes" appeared in the 1982 installment of "In/Re/Novative" fiction. At the time, Beckett was editor of The Difficulties, a journal of Language-centered art. His work had also appeared in Sun & Moon and L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E.
He thought of how the word 'volume' might refer to a book, say, or to a level of sound. She was asking him if they had ever really watched each other. He could not imagine what she was talking about. They could not assimilate everything that was happening as it was happening to them. She could not deal with the absence of windows. The visitor spoke without gesturing. Remarks relevant to good posture were exchanged. She adjusted the hem of her skirt. He excused himself to pee. The visitor was not conscious of the tongue inside his mouth.
They spoke of how clothing …