Will Self

Cultural Masturbation

If you want to go to a very lonely place, find the Cultural Criticism section of your local bookstore. No one is ever there, it seems, except for the occasional confused student staring at the placard– Cultural Criticism?— wondering what it could mean and forgetting that he is actually looking for Joan Didion’s The White Album. But if you find yourself in this dusty corner, you could do worse than pick up Will Self‘s Junk Mail. It’s a collection of nonfiction and journalism he published over the 90’s and 00’s. There’s an essay about London crack houses, another about Woody Allen and Jewish comedy, and many others including one about artist Damien Hirst in which you will find this question:

“Is it better to masturbate over the image of the Emperor if he has no clothes on, or is it preferable to stimulate yourself discreetly knowing that he is tightly sheathed?”

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February 4th, 2010 / 11:40 pm