performative writing

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