William Carlos Williams tried writing one, the novel, novel, I mean. In 1923 he published his humorous uptake on the whole enterprise--it was titled, naturally, The Great American Novel. It's a funny romp, fantastical and bizarre, but still full of beautiful sentences. It represents, I guess, the scratchings of his restless mind.
So, then, it is easy to understand why he received young Nathanael West so warmly--meeting him as he did through his first manuscript, The Dream Life of Balso Snell. Like WCW, West was working to "make it new." He was traveling fast and experimenting, and he that was interesting to Williams. Plus, too, there were the beautiful sentences...and the comic horror..the fast,resting heartbeat of West.
Williams begins Chapter 5--"What then is a novel?" Exactly. The literary lions do roar.