Jarett Kobek is the author of ATTA, from Semiotext(e), and the forthcoming If You Won’t Read, Then Why Should I Write? on Penny-Ante Editions.
If You Won’t Read…, often referred to by Kobek as “The Sex Tapes Book,” is a collection of the coincidental dialog from celebrity sex tapes (and some other hyper-media-based ‘tapes’) transcribed and presented as a text. Included alongside these transcriptions is the criminal records of the celebrity whose dialog is on display. Riding a fine line between conceptual writing, humor, gossip, and ‘alt-lit,’ the book ends up being hilariously funny while resonating with an intense cultural relevance.
I sat down with Jarett one afternoon at a café in San Francisco’s Mission District to talk about his new book. The hour-long conversation, covering everything from Normal Mailer to Jennifer Lopez to Miley Cyrus’s shamanic trip, is available to listen to below:
Pre-order If You Won’t Read, Then Why Should I Write? at Penny-Ante Editions.
New from Semiotext(e) is Jarett Kobek’s ATTA, “a fictionalized psychedelic biography of Mohamed Atta that circles around a simple question: what if 9/11 was as much a matter of architectural criticism as religious terrorism?”
He prepares himself, watches television, hopes the box displays violence. But television is coy, intimates killings as abstractions. Beatings, certainly, beatings and brutality. But minimal death. Always the moment after. Police crash into a room, find a body, hunt the killer. But the actual kill? Off-screen. Or with guns. And what can he learn from guns?
Atta opens a video rental account, chooses movies that help with knowledge of death. He rejects Hollywood fantasies, imperialist propaganda efforts, prefers outlandish tales of monstrous abuse. The Horror section. Blood explodes in these films, bright red replica splashes on skin. READ MORE >