The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Death Spiral (for Zac)

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*

p.s. Hey. ** New Juche, Hi, Joe. Jerzy Kosinski: I read a few of his early books way back when. I remember particularly liking a novel of his called ‘Cockpit’. I haven’t thought about his work in a long time. Houellbecq: Mm, I’m okay with his work. He’s a smart, interesting writer. I’m not in the camp that thinks he’s great or a genius or anything. His deliberate provocations are too on the money to be very interesting to me, and since deliberately provoking and creating controversies is so on his agenda, that puts a damper on my interest in his work. I haven’t read his book on HP Lovecraft because I’ve never read Lovecraft, so it doesn’t really attract me. Have a swell weekend, and I’ll write to you. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. You won’t be sorry, I don’t think. ** Kier, Yay, you’re back! Oh, hm, okay, so … you want basically just some kind of jumping off point or directive? Hm, okay, song? How about this oldish one, which I’ve been obsessed with lately: Sebadoh ‘As the World Dies, the Eyes of God Grow Bigger’. Here’s it on youtube if you need it. It’s kind of a harrowing song. Am I doing this right? If I’m not doing it right, tell me, and I’ll do it right next time. Soon is very soon. I was just talking with Zac about this yesterday, and we thought maybe the easiest way to explain/ask, ‘cos it’s kind of complicated to explain, is to Skype with you, maybe this coming week sometime? Is that possible for you? Otherwise, we can try another way. Yesterday’s auditions were amazing because we totally unexpectedly found someone to play the main role (!), which was the thing that we thought was going to be really, really difficult. The main character is supposed to have had a serious bicycle accident before the film starts, and we’d envisioned him having both neurological issues and a physical handicap from that, and we wanted a real handicapped guy to play the part. But this guy auditioned yesterday who isn’t handicapped but has a very strange quality about him, and he was completely amazing and just perfect in every other way, so we instantaneously decided to take away the physical handicap and just have the character be changed mentally and psychologically in the way he thinks/acts, which I think will work even better. Anyway, this guy is just fantastic, and we were and still are over the moon at having found such an ideal performer for the super-central and very tough role. So, yeah, it’s great! Good, good, I’m so glad the school has worked out to be a great place for you to be and to make work. So it’s being the encouraging and inspiring place you’d hoped! That’s so happy making. Me, yeah, I’m reading a bunch of things at once. I never used to read like that, but there are so many exciting books popping out all the time that it’s only way to keep up. Have a really great weekend! Let me know if that Skyping plan makes sense, and, if so, we can make a plan or else make an alternate plan if not. Giant love from me! ** Steevee, Hi. Whatever ‘Split’ is, I’m sure not it’s not a ‘rush to the theater’ kind of thing. ** David Ehrenstein, Hey. The Millicent Dillon biography is really good, yeah. I almost would like to reread it. Hm, I would imagine any number of directors have at least toyed with making a film of ‘TSL’., right? It seems inevitable, and, god, let’s hope it’s someone smart as hell. ** D贸ra Gr艖ber, Hi, D贸ra! Yes, as I told Kier up above, we magically found our guy for the main role, a young actor who’s so perfect that we changed the character a little so we could cast him. So yesterday was pretty great. We’re thrilled, and very, very relieved because, before that ideal guy showed up, we really were feeling lost about what to do, and it’s such a big, difficult role, and the performer has to be really, really good if the film is going to work, so it was like a miracle. I think we’ll be a little nervous until we’ve officially done the contracts and stuff with him, but he’s very into playing the part, so hopefully everything will be okay. There was one other guy yesterday that we’re interested in enough re: one of the other roles to bring back for a second round, so we’ll see. But, yes, very happy! Shit, sick enough to stay in bed? It’s weird, but being sick, if it’s the ‘right’ kind of sick, can be weirdly freeing or inspiring for writing, or it can alter you in a way that makes you write things you wouldn’t otherwise. If that makes sense. Still, I hope you get perfectly healthy again as soon as today. And that your weekend is cool, whatever state you’re in. How was it? ** James Nulick, Hi. No I don’t, ha ha. They call them ‘slush funds’ for a reason. Thank you about the ‘… in one place’ post. Yes, the Rafferty mystery got solved unmysteriously after the post was made. Well, re: Brautigan, you have too remember that at the time he committed suicide, his work was completely out of fashion, and no one was talking about him, and very few people were reading him. His work’s current renassiance started years later. No, the ‘disabled’ guy is the guy who wants to explode. No, the guy who disappeared without being photographed did so in the 90s and the main character is obsessed with him and with the mythology around his disappearance. I do know that Johnny Gosch doc. I did a big Johnny Gosch post on the murdered blog some time ago. I’ll look into restoring it. I hope the ultrasound came back negative or whatever the perfect result would be. Let me know, okay? And have a very, very fine weekend and take some love too. ** Tosh Berman, Hi, Tosh, I have a strong suspicion you will really like Jane Bowles’ work when you read it. Way back in the 80s, a friend, Tim Dlugos in fact, played me ‘A Picnic Cantata’. I remember it being quite interesting, and, of course, the Schuyler text is characteristically sublime. ** Misanthrope, Hi, G. Great about the post! I will stare at my mailbox until it appears, sort of like Trump staring at a TV, but without the snarling and tweeting. Thank you! ** Alistair, Hi, Alistair! I figured you might be back home by now. Welcome back to my home away from home. That rewiring is really great, for sure. Hang onto it for as long as you can. Really good to see you, my pal. I hope your weekend is a bliss fest! Love, me. ** Right. I made a new gif work. There it is. I hope you like it. I’m pretty proud of it, but don’t mind me. See you on Monday.

21 Comments

  1. jonathan

    WOW D!!!

    Love this 馃檪
    Sounds like things are going well with casting of the film. Im trying to remember how to use premiere for editing video again, mostly learning new things, but its getting there slowly.
    I’m mostly listening to stuff by Mica Levi and things on the Music from Memory label.
    I watched the JT LeRoy doc which feels like another fiction, you were in it for a flash but your know that. not sure about it, but it was nice to fill in some gaps.
    Not much else going on, just lost in a mess of notes and post its with things like arial font and random numbers ,when i was doing video effects, written on it.
    Bon weekend D
    jx

  2. David Ehrenstein

    Gobsmacked that you haven’t read Lovecraft yet!
    Get cracking! His work is amazing and his life story is multifaceted and fascinating.

  3. h

    Hi Dennis — love this day! Today I’m quick as I have multiple deadlines. But will talk to you soon next week or so. Glad your 2nd film work is going well. Can’t wait for it.

  4. D贸ra Gr艖ber

    Hi!

    Wow. Congratulations for this new gif work! I feel like they’re becoming finer and finer. I really liked it.

    Yes!! I’m so-so happy for you! I’m really glad you found the perfect actor for the main role! I’m sure everything will go smoothly but, of course, I’ll keep my fingers crossed ’til you sign all the contracts and everything! Yesterday was a very fruitful day, then!
    It does make sense and I also realized this. I usually get very lazy when I’m sick but I also often surprise myself with longer and different pieces than my usual ones. I’m still not fully well today but I’m getting there!
    And finally, FINALLY I got my very own Like Cattle Towards Glow DVD which I ordered a hundred years ago! I loved it a lot, both the scenes and the characters (!), it was a real treat. Thank you and congratulations!
    How was your weekend? I hope it was awesome!

  5. New Juche

    Hey Dennis

    Thanks – and congrats on finding the actor.

    Yeah I agree about Houellbecq, I don’t care for the publicity stunts, which I don’t know much about. But the books of his I’ve read I certainly found entertaining, especially Submission.

    It’s often said that people either love or hate Lovecraft, but I fall into neither camp. The second story of his I ever read was The Hound, only 4 pages long or so, but containing some of the most morishly voluptuous overwriting I’ve ever come across.

    This is great, today’s post, I’m glad you haven’t stopped making gifworks.

    Best

  6. New Juche

    “There were nauseous musical instruments, stringed, brass, and wood-wind, on which St. John and I sometimes produced dissonances of exquisite morbidity and cacodaemoniacal ghastliness; whilst in a multitude of inlaid ebony cabinets reposed the most incredible and unimaginable variety of tomb-loot ever assembled by human madness and perversity.”
    Haha
    From The Hound

  7. James Nulick

    Dennis,

    This is a lovely gif. I really enjoyed the colors and the flow of it, the glitter and the use of gold in different frames… did you have the color gold specifically in mind when you made the gif, or was it just a happy accident? Either way, it’s very lovely. And the ending, lol.. we all try but very few of us get such a lovely send off!

    I’m glad to hear that you found your lead actor, that’s awesome! Now that that looks to be in place, when, hypothetically, would shooting start? And did you mention your DP is Michael Salerno? Nice … I hope it goes smoothly and swimmingly and without any hitches. Do you have a title for the film in mind? I obviously understand if you don’t want to reveal it just yet, I was only wondering if you had something in mind. I find it very helpful to have a title in mind when I am working on a new project, it’s like the keystone of some grand old brownstone you are building in your head.

    I went to Half Price Books in the University District here in Seattle to sell some books yesteday. While I was waiting for my name/offer to be tabulated, I looked around and lo and behold, I saw a paperback copy of ‘Closer’ on the shelf! Of course I own it in hardcover; I just found it entertaining that you would be in there! Some closeted university student with a penchant for scat must have begrudgingly sold it because he either needed bud from American Mary (U district dope shop) or wanted to grub at Taco Time… I even took a pic and fluttered it on Twitter. It was the only DC in the store! I was hoping to find God Jr because I loaned my copy to ‘a friend’ and he never returned it, the bastard. But all was not lost! I found a hardcover copy of ‘Travesty’ by John Hawkes, which I read in college and enjoyed very much, and I also found a hardcover copy of ‘Tomb(e)’ by Helene Cixous! Totally shocked to find a Cixous in grubby old Seattle! Some weird theater kid must have needed money for nail polish. Anyhoo… Oh, and I found a book on freestyle BMX tricks by D’Arcy… Ok so I still haven’t been able to shake my BMX obsession… The things we carry with us in our dark and hermetically sealed hearts… how was your weekend, my friend?

    Much love,
    James

  8. Sypha

    Dennis what’s up indeed…

    New Juche, if you think that Lovecraft’s prose is overwrought, you should check out the work of his friend Clark Ashton Smith, whose extensive use of archaic words has to be read to be believed… though that’s one of the things I find endearing about him (and Lovecraft!) Here’s the opening paragraph to one of Smith’s stories:

    “I, Satampra Zeiros of Uzuldaroum, shall write with my left hand, since I have no longer any other, the tale of everything that befell Tirouv Ompallios and myself in the shrine of the god Tsathoggua, which lies neglected by the worship of man in the jungle-taken suburbs of Commoriom, that long-deserted capital of the Hyperborean rulers. I shall write it with the violet juice of the suvana-palm, which turns to a blood-red rubric with the passage of years, on a strong vellum that is made from the skin of the mastodon, as a warning to all good thieves and adventurers who may hear some lying legend of the lost treasures of Commoriom and be tempted thereby.”

    Dennis, if you ever want any Lovecraft recommendations just ask… as you know I’m something of a fanatical fan of his work, ha ha.

  9. steevee

    I went to the anti-Muslim ban protest in New York today. It was definitely a mainstream protest: lots of people with families, a roster of speakers where politicians outnumbered Muslims. On the other hand, three different people warned me not to get arrested, so I think they envisioned “anarchists” in black masks smashing windows everywhere. I could have done without the presence of New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, who has rubber-stamped every Trump cabinet nominee and is a supporter of the Israeli government as well, although I agreed with the majority of what he said. There were some frustrating things about it – it was so crowded that I started to get back pain, I couldn’t see or, in some cases, hear the speakers – but it really felt cathartic to share my anger with 7,000 people. I hope that the politicians who spoke take the support they received to heart and continue to publicly attack Trump and the anti-Muslim ban.

  10. _Black_Acrylic

    These gifs are very lovely, or seem so from the skimming I gave them. Will get chance for a more thorough perusal when I’m back in Dundee tomorrow.

    Things have been rather fraught in Leeds, my entire family have come down with flu from Stuttgart. All except me, I’m the last man standing haha. So I’m kind of looking forward to some being on my own time, is what I’m saying.

    Saw a good BBC Francis Bacon documentary just now, it really took me back to my painting days when he was my art hero. That whole mythology is so strong, I just can’t help but be inspired by it. So it was a reminder of my painter’s sensibility, I suppose.

    • David Ehrenstein

      Bacon is a MASSIVELY GREAT artist and a fascinating dude. I recall my chats with him HERE.

      • _Black_Acrylic

        Thanks so much for that David, I’ll be all over it later today ?

    • James Nulick

      Ben,

      Stay strong! You WILL NOT get sick! Sending good thoughts your way 鉂わ笍鉂わ笍

  11. Misanthrope

    Dennis, HEY! I thought we weren’t talking about Trump! I’m kidding.

    Seriously, though, great stack. I “get” this one too. 馃榾

    Okay, I’ve started my thing…I will finish it and have it to you tomorrow night my time (sometime). Taking a little longer than I thought. 馃槢

    And also seriously, I think -and I meant to suggest this to you a long time ago- you should really consider doing Twitter or Instagram or both. It’s a really good way to promote your stuff to a really wide audience, even if it’s just promoting other people’s stuff, things you like, new music, books, art, etc. It doesn’t have to be about your stuff even, just people you want to support, etc.

    Yeah, I know you’re not a heavy promoter of your stuff, but you do like to announce when something new is out and all that, so either or both of those platforms would be a great avenue. And like I said, you could really use to promote the work of the up-and-comers you like to support, as well as others.

    Just an idea.

    • James Nulick

      Dennis,

      I wholeheartedly agree with Misa, I really wish you were on Twitter! Instagram, meh.

      Xoxo

    • steevee

      I promise not to talk about Trump again for a long while. However, he’s a huge part of every politically aware American’s life right now, especially since the Muslim ban executive order last Friday. Trying to cutting him out of my life, in the portions I post here, feels artificial and fake.

  12. Misanthrope

    Fuck, I just came across something I hadn’t heard before: a collab between Sinead O’Connor and Shane Magowan. It’s fucking epic. How do I miss so much shit? A song called “Haunted.”

  13. Jeff J

    Hey Dennis – Love the Death Spiral! Really interesting use of sparkle and glitter and golden hues throughout. Was there a particular strategy behind that?

    Enjoyed the Jane Bowles post. ‘Two Serious Ladies’ is a terrific book. Shame she didn’t write more.

    You familiar with the film director Angela Schanelec? Her movie ‘The Dreamed Path’ got a nice write-up in Film Comment and sounded intriguing. Godard, Bresson, and Denis were all mentioned in connection with it.

    Spent part of the weekend revising new novella, feeling like it’s increasingly coming into focus, which is nice. Saw ’20th Century Women’ which was enjoyable.

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