The blog of author Dennis Cooper

166 pronouncements




p.s. Hey. David Ehrenstein, Hi. First, Happy Birthday a day late! I hope you celebrated in some inimitable style. The idea that the art world is all about money only works if one doesn’t actually go to galleries and museums and look at work by younger or current artists. Most people only pay attention to how much art sells for at auction, and, if you only do that, you could think that’s true. But it’s nonsense. That’s like saying eating g food is all about money because expensive restaurants get more publicity than the local diner or the meals people cook. ** Ferdinand, My pleasure. Yes, very excited for the Carax. Friends and collaborators of mine advised and assisted on it a little. if you want to do a post on ‘Baise moi’, of course that’s more than okay. Thanks! ** Dominik, Hi, D! I have read ‘Milk Fed’, and I liked it. Are you reading or debating whether to? How are you, your life, editing, and so on? Is your pandemic situation getting any more freed up? Ha ha, how did you know I love off key singing? One of the reasons I love Elias Ronnenfelt’s singing so much is how often he doesn’t quite hit the note he’s trying for. It’s very exciting. And Siouxie Sioux too. She’s often slightly off-key, and it makes my heart pump. Love with awesome kissable lips that you are willing to kiss till your lips fall apart, G. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. Ack. I was going to say shouldn’t they have anticipated that reaction but then this whole thing is so brand new. I hope they treat you like royalty in there, and that you get home quicker and more perfectly than anticipated. I look forward to hearing Il Discotto do his thang. Yes, obviously, link when it’s ready. And you got your beloved MRI-defying ABBA companions! Vibey love, me. ** wolf, Ah, shit, I really need to get in the habit of checking for late breaking comments, but for whatever reason I don’t I ever will get in that habit. Train noises … that’s enough to get me foraging, so I will when my obligations here are kaput. Aw, sweet of you to help those pigeons. Nah, the neighbour below threw a fit about all the pigeons hanging around waiting for the deluxe meals we were feeding them, and it’s apparently illegal to feed pigeons in France (?!?), so we had to stop. It was very sad. it took the pigeons months to stop coming to our window sill, finding it empty, and looking through the window at us with what we interpreted as deep confusion and disappointment. ** T, Hey! Those donuts I ate were literally the first donuts I had ever seen much less eaten in France that weren’t, as you so properly put it, anaemic little things. Yeah, uni studies will do that. Eat everything. I remember. But there’s the much hyped and vaunted future intellectual and life-enhancing payoff and all of that, or so they say. And, yeah, it’s not like the world is some amazing place right now where you’re missing out on astonishing fodder. That’s me talking to myself too, obviously. Make it through, and no doubt you will. Here’s to today, yours, mine. ** Jeff J, Hi, Jeff. I’ve seen Hammons’ work in museums and individual pieces in group shows, but not a bunch of it at the same time. There was a big survey show of his work in LA last year that I still ultra-regret missing. All I’ve heard is behind the scenes stuff about the production, which was very, very troubled for a while. Classic Carax. I know Gisele doesn’t like the puppet they ended up using. She had co-designed a puppet for the film, but Cara decided it didn’t pop enough. So, no, the film itself is as big a mystery to me as it is to ya’ll. ** Brian O’Connell, Oh my god, it is Friday, Brian! How the hell did that happen?! Thank you for the huzzah. Felt that. It shivered me timbers. Okay, I’m sold, I will check around for this compelling and mysterious ‘Tickled’ film today. Nice double feature there, needless to say. Today, me? A guy is Zoom-interviewing me about my work this afternoon. The great Puce Mary, who’s doing the sound/score for Zac’s and my new film, is applying for a artist residency in Paris — she’s Danish — largely so we can work together on the film, and I need too write a recommendation letter. And I’ll write something or other, I guess. How did your double feature impact you, if it happened as planned, or, if not, how did you bracket your single class? Bonjour! ** Right, Today’s post doesn’t need a intro really, or, if it does, tell me and I’ll do an afterword or something. See you tomorrow.


  1. David Ehrenstein

    Had a nice Birthday. Bill got me a teriffic book: “Savage Detours: The Life and Work of Ann Savage” by Lisa Morton and Kent Adamson, with an introduction by Guy Maddin.Everything about her entire career with many pictures, plus a copy of her script fr “Detour” with the notes she wrote on it (!)

    Todya is Lee Marvin’s Birthday

    What I was saying about Art had to do with the way its been represented in the media. You have to look far an wide to find analysis and appreciatio of the sort common in the 50’s and 60’s.Actual art cotinues ofcourse as it always has — be it recogned or ignored.
    Here are tw of my favorite pronouncements

    “Everyone says ‘Forgive and Forget.’ Well I never forgive because I never forget” — Abraham Polonsky
    “Man will not be free until the last king has been strangled with the entrails of the last priest,” — Denis Diderot

  2. Sheree Rose

    At 5am your blog soothes my soul!

  3. Ferdinand

    Lovers are like songs there are always more…
    This turned my badfriday mood around. Thanks!

  4. Misanthrope

    Dennis! I like big pronouncements. I was just telling Sypha this the other day. I like the really big ones in literature too, like from Revelation 1:8: “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End,” says the Lord, “who is and who was and who is to come, the Almighty.” Or, from the Bhagavad Gita, “Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds.” Etc.

    No, I think your generalization is right re: nerds and non-nerds. I get that. Even popular people who become “successful” are usually full of nerdiness. I mean, even me, I was very popular in high school but am probably the biggest nerd ever, particularly amongst the friends I had back then.

    Bill Gates supposedly said something like, “Be nice to nerds. You’ll be working for them someday.” He’s got a point.

    I think nerdiness often comes with a perspective that a lot of people don’t have the fortune to experience.

    Sooo…mom scare this week. Woman lost control of her bowels three times and couldn’t eat for three days. Took her to the ER last night. Turns out to be a urinary tract infection, which was in my top two guesses. Really think, after a little research, that she probably has a kidney infection more so than a UTI. She’s on an antibiotic now and will call her GP Monday.

    And then fighting with David at 12:30 a.m. because he’s got his music blaring and vibrating the walls of my room. I’m standing at his open door, the music just a-pumpin’, and he’s going, “You’re hearing things. I don’t have any music playing.” Dude’s lost his fucking mind.


    And thanks also for saying yes to spotlight on Baise moi , I do feel compelled to do it, and always the opportunity to do a post always feels like a legitimate honing. Thanks! What will you be doing the weekend? I just got told at the grocery store after they rang up a bottle of wine that they made a mistake, no sale of alcohol from fri to sunday and they reversed it, now im kinda used to no alcohol on sundays anywhere at stores and yes its been limited since last year already on and off but damn it this sptime i was just like… the bottle stores are actually closed from friday to sunday.. but atleast the restaurants/ bars have been open here for a month or more ..

  6. Dominik


    Today’s post is just a pure YES! Yes! I love it so much!

    I’ve started reading “Milk Fed” yesterday, and I like it so far. “So Sad Today” is one of my all-time favorite books, so I always have such high expectations when it comes to her.

    I’m pretty fine, thank you. This month has been super slow with the company, but it seems to be picking up slowly but surely (I’m being very optimistic here). I’ve finished working on the book of the soon-to-be-SCAB-published author, and I love(d) that project with all my heart. Otherwise, I’ve finished reading Brady’s book (I wasn’t too impressed, but I loved Peter Sotos’ two afterwords), I’m still unhealthily obsessed with Bimini, and I’m trying not to read anything about our pandemic situation because it’s not good. The numbers seem to be on the rise again. We’re not in full lockdown, but there’s a curfew (8 PM). It’s getting a bit depressing even for such a hermit as myself.

    What about you? What’s happening in your life? Are you working on the TV script project, which isn’t a TV script project anymore? Did Zac recover fully by now? I do hope he did!

    Haha, I have to admit it does have a certain charm when one cannot hit the notes they want to. I quite adore that about Elias too. And really… it almost sounds deliberate.

    Okay, yes, this is a lovely love. Even if they make my lips fall apart. Love clinging to you as tightly as that engagement ring in today’s post, Od.

  7. James Champagne

    Hey Dennis, sorry to be brief today, but one quick thing about the Neo-Decadent Manifesto Day: Justin asked me if this could be added to the day (after the Amazon link):

    Or buy direct from Snuggly Books:


    Sorry I’ve been a stranger, this week was the annual inventory at work and you know how that usually stresses me out, though to be honest these last few years haven’t been as bad, in fact I was out of there by midnight this year. The technology they use now certainly makes it go by much faster.

  8. _Black_Acrylic

    Major love for today’s pronouncements! My attention span is shot here at the hospital, so this is a form of literature I can handle. Later will see if I can find a stream for tonight’s Leeds game and the world will be very much righted if so.

    Lots of coffee being drunk here, and it sure ain’t the nice Jamaican Blue Mountain stuff. Maybe that has something to do with my present concentration?

  9. T


    Thanks for the words of encouragement Dennis, it’s very kind of you! Anyway, let’s move swiftly away from that conversation, since “how is uni?” is dangerously, perilously close to “and what do you do for a living?”, from which no return to the land of the sane can be guaranteed! But those are the facts of my life of late. Anyway, have you any notable plans for the weekend? I’m due to meet a freshly-vaccinated friend in a park on Sunday, so very excited about that. Also hope to find some time to have a look at the Japanese films you profiled the other day, some reading and maybe even some writing if I get a moment.

    Today’s post made me realise that (1) pronouncement is a particularly underrated speech act and (2) clothes worn in non-english speaking countries that bear english slogans (‘FREE IS FREE, SHIT IS SHIT, DAMN!!’ – absolutely golden – also ‘THE SEXY FACE, NEVER STOP STUDYING’) are very wondrous and very funny. I wish I’d documented the most memorable that I came across when I was living in Japan, the only one that comes to mind as I write this is a middle-aged woman I saw in a convenience store with a top saying ‘PERV FACE’, which makes me laugh even now. Is 166 a particularly notable number to pronounce?

    Anyway, hope that next time we speak, you’re able to pronounce your weekend as having been a thing of tolerable passage, if not wonder or beauty!

  10. Bzzt

    Thanks for the bump on the Brontez piece Dennis! At the moment I am screaming TGIF from the top of my lungs. It’s snowing in New York, it feels pretty post-apocalyptic here whereas a few weeks ago it felt apocalyptic.
    I’m really enjoying these pronouncements, all 166 of them. I was really big on Tumblr back when I was in high school and I loved sharing these sorts of graphics. I never got Tumblr famous or anything but I was always on there after school when I should’ve been doing my homework. Also I think it’s funny that Richard Brautigan’s signature is in there randomly. Are you fond of Richard Brautigan? I don’t know his work very well but I vaguely remember reading one of his flash pieces in college…
    I’m happy to hear the funds are being raised. Are you getting excited to shoot the film? Anxious? Do you have to do lots of precautionary measures because of COVID? I would like to start applying for grants in the near future. Once I finish this damn short story I’ll use it as a writing sample. I can understand why so many artists and intellectuals are attracted to utopian thought, because in a perfect world you’d never have to apply for grants…
    Looking forward to hearing back. Thanks again for the Brontez boost, I think I have one more tiny capsule piece coming out soon and then nada. I have some pitches pending but what I’d really like to do is go to the beach. Hope you have a nice weekend DC!

  11. Steve Erickson

    Here’s my review of SUPERNOVA:

    A BAISE-MOI day is a great idea. I wrote a review of the film which became the cover story of a very early issue of a Cinema Scope magazine. Fearing Canadian customs, I made a VHS dub of it for editor Mark Peranson but labeled it IT’S A WONDERFUL LIFE. And in fact, Canada’s censorship board trimmed the rape scene in which an actress gets actually penetrated. But I found the freakout in France itself very strange. The idea of women presenting a vision of extreme violence seemed to threaten the country’s moralists while they tolerated most other New French Extremity films. I like Despentes’ novels and essays but have not seen any of her other films.

    We’re into day two of a snowstorm. While much of America has been hit far worse, I’ve barely gone out in the past two days, and it’s dragging. I watched SUPERFLY for the first time this afternoon.

  12. John Newton

    Hi Dennis, I hope you are well. I am still cleaning up snow and staying warm.

    Today’s collage of images and language reminds me of my highschool years with goth, punk, and Indie/alternative/emo kids.

    I enjoyed your blog post about David Harmons. He is correct that there is not always a lot of humor in art or the ‘art world’. I emailed you, from my email JRN158@GMAIL.COM please reply when you get a chance. High school sucked for me but I was this southern/central/western european, nerdy, shy, intelligent kid that did not fit in, and I hated sports and still do. This was right before and during Columbine. I remember how myself and a south Asian friend begged our parents to enroll us into a local private Quaker school out of desperation, but this did not happen and I suppose this is good as I would have been forced to play a sport after school there.

    I hope you are staying healthy in Paris.


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