(Art as) Communication vs. Expression

catalog

Well-known member
Is I Love Dick really that compelling? What are people gleaning from it
I really liked it, but I thought I was in a minority.

I made quite a lot of notes on it, which I could go and find and post if you are interested?

But basically, its a really compelling tight story, in terms of structure, that keeps you guessing right til the end, with high stakes, and then hanging off that are loads of very interesting musings/observation of the nature of art, feminism etc.

I just really liked it cos it felt very fresh to me.

And led me to stuff like Argonauts by Maggie Nelson which is in the same vein.
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
you could say its the interests of others that form the mask you put on though. and its not soley for the end of the wearer- masks are a social function that stand to keep the process smooth going for everyone entangled in the interpersonal web.
 

nilprenia

Well-known member
I really liked it, but I thought I was in a minority.

I made quite a lot of notes on it, which I could go and find and post if you are interested?

But basically, its a really compelling tight story, in terms of structure, that keeps you guessing right til the end, with high stakes, and then hanging off that are loads of very interesting musings/observation of the nature of art, feminism etc.

I just really liked it cos it felt very fresh to me.

And led me to stuff like Argonauts by Maggie Nelson which is in the same vein.
I should read it in full myself before reading notes. I was just interested because of its contentious status
 

nilprenia

Well-known member
you could say its the interests of others that form the mask you put on though. and its not soley for the end of the wearer- masks are a social function that stand to keep the process smooth going for everyone entangled in the interpersonal web.
Right but you are making that choice because you want to function in society. Its not a study of anything separate from yourself.
 

Linebaugh

Well-known member
Im not sure its a choice. I think you can make the choice later to opt out, but most start conditioned in such a way that they're unaware theyre are even doing it. You dont start aware of these meta social games.
 

catalog

Well-known member
I should read it in full myself before reading notes. I was just interested because of its contentious status
Yeah I mean there's no doubt thst the moral issues at play are very difficult for a lot of people to contend with, but I wasn't arsed about any of that, in fact it just functioned like a really good macguffin and kept me hooked.
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
And led me to stuff like Argonauts by Maggie Nelson which is in the same vein.

The Argonauts! Wonderful little book. Have you read Bluets? It's interesting for similarish reasons as I Love Dick & Argonauts—confession, voyeurism, this combination of attraction/repulsion (with hints of identification) to the narrator etc etc
 

catalog

Well-known member
i got bluets out from the library but for one reason or another never read it, i think by then i had had enough of that style for a bit and read something completely different. but i did think argonauts was pretty impressive, with that really good bit about how the one academic tears the other apart, and when they go on holiday to make the T stuff more bearable. Again, good story.
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
from Bluets
How to take it off: I could drink every single drop of alcohol in my house, which includes the rest of this beer and a bottle of Maker’s Mark. I could let myself be fucked mercilessly by many strangers at once, as in my first sexual fantasy... I am sent halfway across the world in a cardboard box with a lot of postage on it. The journey is long and rough and invariably involves much jostling by camels. When I arrive, a tribe of men opens the box under a hot desert sun, and out spills my small body. They are all eager to touch it.
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
which ties in with a lot of stuff that've been talked about in Brooklyn Culture Mafia—the way desires are problematic (maybe that should have scare quotes); the way we don't want what we want, or don't choose to want what we want. Like I Love Dick, there's something sort of stomach-churning about these divulgences, you wanna look away; you can't and instead you work through it, come out the other side OK.
 

catalog

Well-known member
That is quite a scintillating extract, but maybe the very briefness, or lack of context, is what put me off? Or felt like a throwaway after argonauts and ILD.

Have u had a go with Eileen Myles?

One thing I remember liking about Chris Kraus was exactly this Idea of 'bad' desires, or desires coded as bad if you're a woman.

And I think she discusses it somewhere? That no women make the great artist list, cos they don't get to have these desires? They have to write about cakes and dresses, they can't write about wanting to spend a long dark night of the soul doing sex and drugs.
 

suspendedreason

Well-known member
Yeah I read Chelsea Girl and really, really disliked it tbh. It felt like a mediocre lesbian version of already mediocre beat writing. One of the few entries in this scene/lineage that I couldn't make myself read.

Her whole schtick is fetishizing this 70s NYC image of artist-as-countercultural-agent, so the quote doesn't surprise me, tho I'm not sure I agree with either its premise or conclusion.
 
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