IdleRich

IdleRich
There was a brief mention of them in the What Are You Reading Now thread... but yeah, in I Love Dick there is quite a lot of stuff about how sitting around sorting out the income from all their properties doesn't leave them that much time for making films and stuff. I dunno how I feel about it really, they're not lying about it at least.
 

catalog

Well-known member
i started reading the acker bio and it was good but again it got left cos it was an ebook version. re the landlords thing, one of the things i do really enjoy about her writing is her willingness to go into an area and just talk about it honestly, as it occurs to her, rather than hide behind what she's doing. or maybe something is being hidden, it probably is, but you get this quite real sense she's spilling her guts. and that almost makes up for the dubious morality or whatever. like her hounding of dick, that was obviously mad stalker behaviour, but the way she talks about was very entertaining
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
pretty standard story in a lot of ways, you get into something for good reasons and dedicate your life to it, then realise it's a massive pain in the arse, you hate everyone else involved, plus it's made you skint, so you go work for the man, or in their case, become landlords.
Reminds me of Tiger King in a sense when that guy is saying that when he started he probably loved tigers and so on but now - he reckons - it's just a business and he doesn't give a fuck about them, when one gets too old to make money as a cute petting animal he'll take it out in the woods at night and shoot it etc etc
Sad to think how many people have ruined their passions like that. And that from the outside there are loads of people going "They're so lucky, I wish I could make my money petting tigers" (or producing records or whatever).
 

john eden

male pale and stale
It's interesting to look back at their '80s fanzines the last moment there was a counter culture canon, fairly disparate, Burroughs, Ballard, Foucault, Deleuze, Robert Anton Wilson, Genesis P.orrige. Probably a naive attitude towards 'transgression'. The limits of thought experience ways of life. Here's BDSM drug use French theory feminism. It's better than what we have now in many ways although parts of it seems quaint, naive, possibly sinister.

I am quite nostalgic for that period. A lot of this stuff would end up in Tower Records in Piccadilly and visiting there always produced a few WTF moments when you'd pick up a copy of queer zines like Holy Titclamps or whatever.

Yer man Phillip Best from Whitehouse is sort've trying to move in on that territory (the transgressive fiction bit) with his Amphetamine Sulphate publishing house:
 

catalog

Well-known member
Sad to think how many people have ruined their passions like that. And that from the outside there are loads of people going "They're so lucky, I wish I could make my money petting tigers" (or producing records or whatever).
i think this happened to me - i was really into film and worked for a few years at various levels in the biz, but ultimately left it cos i was working on absolute dogshit to pay the bills and ended up not being able to look at a film for several years afterwords, where before i was a proper cinephile, going to cinema every week, watching loads of videos, reading loads of books. you see it all, it does ruin you for a bit
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
what makes I love dick so good is how high the stakes are for the while thing and then the ending is really quite poignant/sad. But outside of the story world of the book, you do have to wonder about how completely mental these people are.
I gotta say I didn't enjoy the book at all.. found it really annoying. But yeah, the ending was very powerful I thought, not sure that poignant is quite the word I would have used. But also - thinking back - I find the ending a little kind of unfair in that basically it seems to show Dick as this completely callous monster, but really that's only true (or at least may only be true) in the context of this completely insane imaginary world she's built up which he has no real control or influence over.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
I found a cheap copy of one of the early titles (Foucault's "Remarks On Marx" I think) and sold it for £50 or something on Amazon after I'd (tried to) read it.
 

catalog

Well-known member
I gotta say I didn't enjoy the book at all.. found it really annoying. But yeah, the ending was very powerful I thought, not sure that poignant is quite the word I would have used. But also - thinking back - I find the ending a little kind of unfair in that basically it seems to show Dick as this completely callous monster, but really that's only true (or at least may only be true) in the context of this completely insane imaginary world she's built up which he has no real control or influence over.
yeah that's exactly it - that the ending works at all is testament to her writing i think. you are totally right though - you feel sorry for her despite her being completely insane
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
The ending was a powerful kick in the gut - it's like a song with a huge build up and one massive drop, but I'm not sure the drop was good enough to justify the build up, which was effectively the whole book.
And, yes, you do feel sorry for her. Or maybe not actually, I was certainly appalled by the callousness of Dick but I'd lost a lot of patience with the narrator by then so didn't empathise quite as much as I might have otherwise. But now, I kinda feel more sorry for Dick - did he have a right of reply? It feels as though he was sucked into this weird academic game without any real choice - I mean late on he DID fuck her which was probably a mistake, but by then he was already in way too deep... just cos he had dinner with them one.
 

catalog

Well-known member
i read a little about it and its based on a real guy, dick hebdidge, and i think he tried to get the name changed at least, but obviously lost that one.
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
There is a bit earlier on where she mentions how she and a friend wrote this letter offering some weird sex act (I forget exactly what) to some famously libertine rock star and they get no reply and she says something like "Obviously he wasn't ready for the stuff we were offering" - and it struck me as a really strangely arrogant thing to assume. If I wrote some letter to a megastar and didn't get a response I'd probably assume that it was in a pile of ten million other letters somewhere on a desk in some management company office or something, I wouldn't automatically conclude "Yeah he definitely read that but I was too cool so he couldn't manage a worthwhile reply and wimped out" which seemed to be her take.
 

catalog

Well-known member
lol i dont remember that bit, but i do remember when shes talking about doing sex work... i liked those bits about the women artists i had never heard of and when she does that detailed analysis of that one painting
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
Yeah fair play, there is some good criticism in that book.
On the one hand, I found it frustrating that the book is a mixture of literary criticism and a sort of story and also a confession about her insane stalking and so on all mixed together - but I suppose criticising it on those terms is not that helpful cos the whole point of what she's doing I suppose is to try and create a new kind of literature.
 

catalog

Well-known member
yeah i mean that is what i really LOVED about it - that it mixed all that shit up in one thing, but there was a thread running through it. i loved that chapter where she linked some indigenous struggle in south america to an art opening in LA and driving about.

but the same sort of approach in torpor felt really overcooked and didn't work at all
 

IdleRich

IdleRich
I'm being quite negative about it. But it's interesting that six months later (or whatever) I DO remember some bits of it rather vividly and find that I have a fair bit to say about it. So yeah, it obviously did provoke several reactions in me and get me thinking too I suppose.
 

luka

Well-known member
there are no writers working in this tradition any more except me and Grapejuice
 

luka

Well-known member
After this psychedelia gets severed form the avant grade and both streams dry up
 
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