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Lust for Life: On the Writings of Kathy Acker
Amy Scholder (Editor)
184467066X
May 2006
Paperback
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Book Description
Scholars, artists and writers consider the works of the most transgressive literary icon of the late 20th century.Kathy Acker was one of the most original, subversive and influential writers of the late 20th century. Known variously, and notoriously, as a consummate postmodernist, feminist, post-punk and plagiarist, her oeuvre—over a dozen novels and novellas—has inspired a generation of writers and artists.Lust for Life is the definitive collection of essays on Acker's inimitable work, including Peter Wollen's elegiac primer, widely considered the best introduction to Acker, and Avital Ronell's erudite meditation on friendship and mourning. Together these essays by scholars and writers reveal Acker's profound and innovative project, and the ways in which fiction can penetrate the heart of political and...


Postmodernism and Its Others
Jeffrey Ebbesen
0415975441
Feb 2006
Hardcover
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Book Description
The book analyzes Ishmael Reed [Mumbo Jumbo], Kathy Acker [The Adult Life of Toulouse Lautrec by Henri Toulouse Lautrec], and Don Delillo [White Noise], three authors whom critics cite as quintessentially postmodern. For these critics such works possess formal narrative and/or content qualities at odds with modernism. In particular, according to influential thinkers like Fredric Jameson, postmodern works possess narrative form and/or content which eschews reality, and embody a fundamental paradigm shift from the politically committed ideology of modernity and modernism to the politically relativistic ideology of postmodernity and postmodernism.
The book contends that while the above authors do possess numerous so-called "postmodern" qualities, their critical forms and/or contents remain...


Tactical Readings: Feminist Postmodernism in the Novels of Kathy Acker and Angela Carter
Nicola Pitchford
0838754872
February 2002
Hardcover
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Great Expectations
Kathy Acker
0802131557
Oct 1989
Paperback
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Essential Acker: The Selected Writings of Kathy Acker
Kathy Acker
0802139213
September 2002
Paperback
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From Booklist
Audacious innovator Acker (1948-97) titled one of her earliest novels Rip-Off Red, Girl Detective and her last Pussy, King of the Pirates, and she did indeed raid the vaults of literature like a bisexual bandit in thrift-store drag and on speed, robbing the rich and established to give to the poor and marginalized.Keen-witted, outrageous, disaffected, and whip-smart, she sampled, riffed on, and subverted everything from Don Quixote to Great Expectations to pulp fiction to the life of Toulouse Lautrec, and laced her high-octane assaults on conventional family and social mores and cultural elitism with an explicitly female eroticism that challenges the male domination of porn and often veers into caustic humor and outright existentialism. Torrential yet finely composed, controversial and all too...


Literal Madness
Kathy Acker
0802131565
July 1989
Paperback
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Empire of the Senseless
Kathy Acker
0802131794
Jan 1990
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Set in the present and near future, this is an apocalyptic tale that makes Clockwork Orange look tame. It's alternately narrated by the female Abhor, "part robot, part black," and the male Thivai, a diagnosed paranoid. Thivai is a sort of wide-eyed Huck Finn adventuring through a postmodern world that is punctuated by random violence. Algerian immigrants have taken over Paris, Western cities are now "composed of dead and mutants," punky kids are playing at being terrorists, CIA plots aboundall this, Acker tells us during the age of Reagan. The most eerie quality of these new-age humanoids is their anesthetized emotions; females of any age are referred to as "cunts" and sadomasochistic relationships, be they homosexual or heterosexual, whether involving children or consenting adults, are the norm. A plotless...


Skin Tropes and Identities in Woolf, Ellison, Pynchon and Acker
Maureen F. Curtin
0415940192
November 2002
Hardcover
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Book Description
Out of Touch investigates how skin has become a crucial but disavowed figure in twentieth-century literature, theory, and cultural criticism. These discourses reveal the extent to which skin figures in the cultural effect of changes in visual technologies, a development argued by critics to be at the heart of the contest between surface and depth and, by extension, Western globalization and identity politics. The skin has a complex history as a metaphorical terrain over which ideological wars are fought, identity is asserted through modification as in tattooing, and meaning is inscribed upon the human being. Yet even as interventions on the skin characterize much of this history, fantasy and science fiction literature and film trumpet skin's passing in the cybernetic age, and feminist theory calls for abandoning...


Postmodern American Fiction: A Norton Anthology
Paula Geyh
039331698X
January 1998
Paperback
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Book Description
The first anthology to do full justice to the vast range of postwar American innovations in the art of fiction. Beginning in the 1950s with the generation of Pynchon, Burroughs, and Paley up to David Foster Wallace and Kathy Acker, Postmodern American Fiction is the first anthology to richly represent the diversity of experimental fiction in postwar America. A deep and wide collection of short fiction, novel excerpts, cartoons, hypertexts, creative nonfiction, and theoretical writings by sixty-eight writers, Postmodern American Fiction conveys the wit, inventiveness, and edgy skepticism of fiction that grows out of and refracts five decades of profound political, technological, and cultural change in America. The editors' lucid Introduction explores the modernist roots and cultural contexts of postwar America that gave...


Don Quixote, Which Was a Dream
Kathy Acker
0802131921
Sept 1989
Paperback
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Blood and Guts in High School
Kathy Acker
080213193X
Oct 1989
Paperback
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Allegories of Violence: Tracing the Writings of War in Late Twentieth-Century Fiction
Lidia Yuknavitch
0415936373
July 2001
Hardcover
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Book Description
This work demilitarizes the concept of war and asks what would happen if war was understood as discursive via late twentieth-century novels of war. In particular, this book seeks to revise common perceptions of war, postmoderism, and the novel by asking how they form, deform, and reform one another.

About the Author
Lidia Yuknavitch's work has appeared in the anthologies Representing Bisexualities (NYU Press, 1996) and Third Wave Agenda (University of Minnesota Press, 1997). She also writes short fiction and is the author of two short story collections. Her work has appeared in dozens of journals and magazines, including Ms., The Iowa Review and Gargoyle. She currently teaches literature and fiction writing at San Diego State University.


My Mother
Kathy Acker
0802134033
Oct 1994
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Acker's ( Blood and Guts in High School ) 10th novel continues her well-established tradition of nontraditional prose: she borrows from both absurdism and metafiction, yet the final product is her own--a haunting and sometimes amusing fictional event. In a voice at once disturbing and wryly humorous, her narrator, Laure, recounts both dreams and real events to subtly weave together a dark autobiography. Laure's journey from the emotional and sexual abuses of childhood to the confusion of a girls' boarding school is fraught with psychological tortures, both created by and imposed upon her. Her attempt to overcome her parents' cruelty, her fetishization of various friends and lovers, and her eventual transformation into a weathered, motorcycle-riding bohemian are all told in vivid if surreal detail. Acker infuses...


Pussy, King of the Pirates
Kathy Acker
080213484X
Jan 1997
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Once again displaying her penchant-and talent-for scavenging extant texts, Acker (My Mother: Demonology) exploits Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island and Pauline Reage's The Story of O, among other sources, fusing the carnal, the cerebral and the surreal into a fantastical tale. The story spans centuries and continents as it chronicles the adventures of O and Ange, whores who retire from the trade and hire a band of girl-pirates to help them find buried treasure. Told mostly through dreams and dream states and with casual shifts in point of view, the novel divides roughly into three sections. The first, "O and Ange," recounts the two women's days of prostitution: in China, O begins whoring at the request of a boyfriend; she then makes a pilgrimage to "the most famous whorehouse in Alexandria," where she...


Portrait of an Eye
Kathy Acker
0802135439
Jan 1998
Paperback
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From Kirkus Reviews
This volume brings together three of the postmodern punkster's earliest novels, all originally published by obscure presses in the Seventies. As much as one wants to give Acker the benefit of a fair reading, it's hard not to be bored by the lengthy repetitions, the obscure plotlines, the complete disregard (deliberate, of course) for conventional notions of time. In The Childlike Life of the Black Tarantula, the fictional ``I'' decides to become various murderesses from history, as well as Yeats and Sade. Speaking in a cacophony of voices, she ``can't handle her own horniness,'' though ``sexual ecstasies become mystic communion.'' I Dreamt I Was a Nymphomaniac, another historical hallucination, further emphasizes Acker's sense of the self in disintegration--the reason one assumes the roles of so many other...


In Memoriam to Identity
Kathy Acker
080213579X
Sept 1998
Paperback
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From Publishers Weekly
Acker, known for her scatological excursions into the demimonde of post-modernism, is above all a literalist, and a literary one at that. If her concern is the alienation wrought by industrialization, she literally appropriates Dickens's Pip, as she did in her first novel (sassily titled Great Expectations ), and thrusts him into the complexities of her time. In this new book, Acker mourns the childhood innocence (mostly sexual) lost to socialization. She invokes the writings of Rimbaud and Faulkner, blending them with modern angst and not a little political posturing--about AIDS, Thatcherism, etc. The book's four interlocking stories detail Rimbaud's doomed relationships with his mother and the poet Verlaine, Quentin Compson's deluded engagement with his unfolding fate and the tragic exploitation (again, mostly...

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