All Context, No Content

Here is an image of a small boy walking along the precipice between a zone of water and a monolithic structure.

Hi. My name’s Mike. I will be posting here periodically (thanks Blake). I had planned for my first post to be about Tan Lin’s Seven Controlled Vocabularies and Obituary 2004. The Joy of Cooking (Airport Novel Musical Poem Painting Film Photo Hallucination Landscape), which Adam Robinson mentioned last week, because I finished it yesterday and wanted to say something about it because it’s amazing, but I left my copy at home. I don’t like writing about books in detail if I don’t have them in front of me.

Instead of telling you about Tan Lin’s book, I will tell you about myself. Sometimes I really like talking about myself, and sometimes it makes me really uncomfortable. Most of my “author bios” are really brief and include a statement about how I am going to kill myself in the ocean. I also generally point out that this may or may not be true.


Random / 36 Comments
September 21st, 2010 / 4:03 pm

If you date a writer, they’re going to write about you: brutal honesty as performative writing

Not my knee, but might as well be

Jackie Wang here. New around these parts. I write the blog Serbian Ballerinas Dance with Machine Guns. There you can find my writings on literature, film, art, theory, politics, music, and culture. My blog is named after a phrase written by Refbatch, a schizophrenic Russian woman who has posted around 12,000 YouTube videos online. She is perhaps my biggest inspiration. You can see a website I made for her here. I also do Eggs I Would like to Fuck. You can listen to my music here.

I am a Chinese-Italian (spaghetti-rice) hybrid and my writing is hybrid; I like to combine memoir, criticism and theory. I am against aestheticized indifference and for over-investment and brutal honesty. Jack Halberstam’s theories of negative feminism and antisocial queer theory describes two types of negativity: one characterized by “fatigue, ennui, boredom, indifference, ironic distancing, indirectness, arch dismissal, insincerity” and another characterized by “rage, rudeness, anger, spite, impatience, intensity, mania, sincerity, earnestness, over-investment, incivility….” I am of the the second camp. I would say that New Narrative writers like Dodie Bellamy, Eileen Myles, and Chris Kraus (honorary member) are of this camp as well. (Speaking of brutal honesty, have you read the new Eileen Myles book? She talks a lot of shit on Kathy Acker. Even though I love Kathy, it’s kind of great.) I suppose this is a good segue into the issue I came here to discuss, namely the topic of brutal honesty as a specifically performative kind of writing and a way to undermine literary boundaries.

Craft Notes / 108 Comments
September 21st, 2010 / 1:53 pm