DC's

The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Spotlight on … Stewart Home Slow Death (1996)

 

‘[Stewart] Home masters his materials without falling foul of style slavery. This crucial distinction between the poet and the prose writer is made by Hazlitt. Immediacy, suddenness and excitement are the thing, as Hazlitt writes in his essay “The Fight”: “There was little cautious sparring, no half hits, no tapping and trifling, none of the petit maitreship of the art–they were almost all knock-down blows.’ Home aims to write with the same effect. He aims to wind up his readers, wants to imagine them reacting, gives them things that they have to grapple with. To write in a style that is punchy and unambiguous, he jumps about like a real voice, creates the urgent noise of the insolent street-wise wise-cracker, the throughput of the nabbed street blagger faced by the heavy fist of the plod.

‘His use of deceit and plagiarism is a light-hearted prank, a thrust against the fetish of originality and genius that he sees as being part of the structure of modern notions of art, especially perhaps in fiction writing that draws attention to the power of such ideas. Similarly, the use of shared names, such as Karen Elliot, Luthor Blissett, Monty Cantsin are equally prankster routines designed to reveal modern art’s need for the genius. The unsettling of these ideas–of drawing attention to the fact that ‘Art’ is structured around concepts of genius, of originality, of creativity by producing things that look like art but don’t involve them–is of course what these routines are about. But such work can have surprisingly violent effects and what is interesting about Home is the way he continues to direct his writing through the present age and its canonical authors, philosophers and artists towards a different kind of future.

‘Home’s is a prose that works against the Eliotic idea of “A people without history/Is not redeemed from time, for history is a pattern/ Of timeless moments’ (Eliot “Little Gidding”). In a fascinating essay, Malcolm Bull writes that for Eliot “The equation of ending, apocalypse and fiction is founded on the assumption that ‘an end will bestow upon the whole duration and meaning’”. He goes on to assert that, contrary to Eliot, “human time is not made out of chronological time but is, as in Ecclesiastes, ‘a time for this and a time for that.’ Such times are defined by their purpose rather than their ending”. Home is not working to bring about apocalypse. Rather he is the grub-street hack, keeping to the purpose of the time, which is oppositional, disaffected and class conscious . The fertility of Home is that of overworked, pressurised thinking action, a sharp, sweet imagination without a trace of bigotry, intolerance, or exclusivity in its thrust and amplifications.

‘If Eliotic cultural critics try to keep the republican imagination restrained within the literary canon, Home denounces the relativists while stating that “saying that all positions are not equal does not necessarily entail a defence of ‘canonical literature’”. His novels are more of the same; he plays around, he pranks, takes the piss, using signs that he knows will confuse, upset and outrage anyone with an interest (usually vested) in literature. As he writes in the same essay: “My ‘novel’ Slow Death, and a number of my other ‘works’, feature ‘characters’ who adhere to the fashions of the skinhead youth cult. . . . English reviewers often experience difficulty in distinguishing a ‘novelist’ from the ‘fictional’ characters that populate his or her books. . . . The notions I utilise–which include ‘skinheads’, ‘pornographic sex’, and ‘avant-gardism’–should not be viewed as arbitrary but as self-contained signs. Everything done with these signs immediately affects what they are supposed to represent”.

‘The eighteen volume skinhead Bildungsroman written by James Moffatt under the name of Richard Allen and published by the New English Library in the seventies have long been the disreputable bastard father of Home. Clearly, the interest generated by these books for Home works through several of the concerns Home has been investigating and critiquing over the last two decades. The disreputable nature of these pulp trash volumes is clearly attractive to anyone wanting to cause maximum offence to lovers of art writing, those who would assert that they read literature. James Moffatt/Richard Allen is an example of a writer who doesn’t write literature. It’s against this kind of division that Home is warring. Writing as art, transmitting the eternal, universal load of the author’s genius to his/her adoring bourgeois public, is the kind of totalitarian ideology from which Home is dissenting.

‘The subject matter as well as the style of these books also attracts Home. Violence is a key motif in all the novels, but it isn’t just the violence of the soccer hooligan but a violence which extends into the realms of society and sex. Home writes of it as, in an interesting essay “Gender Sexuality and Control: Richard Allen Reconsidered”: “. . . a violence with a dualistic nature. It is simultaneously mechanical and mystical. It is beyond the control of those who vent it, but it is destined to be neutralised by some outside authority, usually the police, at the conclusion of the story. . . .”.

‘Home is clearly not endorsing the sexism and racism of the tropes in the Moffatt oeuvre, indeed he is explicitly rejecting them, both in the context of essays and his own novels. One way of reading Home’s novels is in relation to the Ur-texts of Moffatt. Home is weeding out in his own works those elements of Moffatt which he finds objectionable whilst holding on to and developing those elements which he finds worthy and constructive. So we find him writing that “The heterosexist manner in which Allen depicts adolescent sexuality IS objectionable, but the fact that such sexuality gets depicted at all IS worthy of note”. He also argues that because the majority of people reading these novels when they came out were aged between the ages of eleven to sixteen the books’ presentation of conflicts with parental authority were of great value. The presentation of deviant values, as a reaction to the failures of do-gooder liberal authority figures such as social workers, teachers and psychiatrists results in a violent, hetrosexualised primitivism and a counter-cultural undercurrent that gives the books their pulse. The reactionary nature of Moffatt’s ideological beliefs–his characters are always looking for an authority figure, or some totalitarian tradition to take them in hand–veers very close to being explicitly fascist. These are not the manoeuvrings of some Swiftian satirical imagination: he believed in the stupid stuff. For Home, that “belief” is the enemy. But Moffatt’s racy pulp style is undersigned by a detonated, sincere prose and vernacular eloquence. Its fast, energetic readability and the sense of closure attracts Home. They cut against the modern artist’s scandalous use of ambiguity and openness which, for Home, are signs of double-think, an inability to communicate, a fetishisation of “difficulty” designed to keep out all but the initiated middle-classes!

‘What collides in Home’s fiction is the brutal efficiency of the pulp prose of Moffatt and the class-conscious sophistication of his own dissenting imagination. The racist, homophobic, sexist, right-wing hierarchical energies of Moffatt are transformed into more socially decent tropes but the style retains its peculiarly angular, knuckly swiftness. Characterisation and the inner life are ejected. Plagiarising Moffatt’s books and others, cutting in passages of Schopenhauer, what Home produces is something jumped-up, negligent, seriously funny and funnily serious:

“’You’ll never defeat me,’ Smith spat. ‘You don’t even have a theoretical grasp of how to apply the hammer-blow of putsch, let alone the ability to attempt a practical realisation of this deadly tactic. I’m expelling the pair of you from Cockney Nation. And be warned, I’ll have you hanged on the day I lead the glorious forces of nationalism to victory. You’re just a pair of loonies. Launching an independence movement to liberate Newham is gonna make you a laughing-stock among sincere patriots.’ ‘Fuck off!’ Pat swore as he slammed down his receiver. Brian was exhilarated by this clash of wills. He was rightly proud of the ease with which he’d put down the opposition. . . .”.

‘The comedy comes from the brute jamming of the cliched, lefty prose into the mouths of the two speakers. Its deadpan anti-naturalism gives Home the chance to make fun of his character types, but also takes a pot shot at the expectations of the dedicated follower of literature. Every feature of the writing is pulled into the joke, including the imagined reader.’ — Richard Marshall

 

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Further

Stewart Home Society
Stewart Home @ goodreads
Stewart Home @ Twitter
‘A Stewart Home Retrospective'< />
‘Stewart Home takes a walk with Bill Drummond’

‘The Assault on Greil Marcus: Open Letter to Stewart Home’
‘‘Belle de Jour’ Identified as Male London Novelist, Stewart Home’
‘Stewart Home: Proletarian Post-Modernism’
‘WHISKEY A WHORE GALORE – 69 THINGS TO DO WITH STEWART HOME.’
Stewart Home @ discogs
‘Stewart Home: Communism, Nihilism, Neoism, & Decadence’
‘Stewart Home’s Portal’
’50 SHADES OF RAPE’
‘There’s Still a Bourgeoisie That Needs Smashing’
‘Index: Stewart Home’
‘Stewart Home – what’s up with him?’
‘STEWART HOME: PLEASE FOLLOW ME’
‘A NEW KIND OF EDUCATION’
‘AT LAST, SEXUAL SATISFACTION FOR CINDY SHERMAN WITH YOUR BIGGER AND NEWEST ATEMPORAL NETWORK CULTURE!’
Buy ‘Slow Death’

 

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Extras


Stewart Home’s ‘Come Before Christ & Murder Love’ Rejected Promo Video


Stewart Home On The Art Strike 1990-1993


Banned by YouTube 2


Banned by YouTube for no good reason


Red London by Stewart Home


Reading From A Headstand – Stewart Home Blood Rites of the Bourgeoisie

 

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Interview

 

Alexander Laurence: How did you get started?

Stewart Home: I was born in London. That is where I’ve always done things. I really got started with punk rock in the 70’s and I was in some terrible ska and punk bands. The ska band was called The Molotovs, which was a strange name, but the lead singer was in a horrendous Trotskyite party, so we had to put up with all these atrocious lyrics. I was in a few punk bands that were like The Stooges with obscene lyrics.

AL: Could you describe your book Red London?

SH: Basically what a lot of my fiction does is it draws on pulp fiction writing from Britain in the 70’s, particularly youth culture fiction about skinheads and Hells Angels. I’m also influenced by Jim Thompson and Mickey Spillane, the hard-boiled detective novel, or even going back to future war novels, science fiction, and fantasy. I draw on that material and try critically to deconstruct it. I take a lot of sentences out of other people’s books and I repeat them endlessly through the work around the narrative structure. Also when you write a book, you need about 60 thousand words. Raymond Chandler says “If you run out of ideas, have someone come through the door with a gun.” All I do is have a sex scene every other page, and every sex scene is identical. That’s half the book before you’re even started.

AL: You were there during the original British punk movement. What do you think of the idea of The Sex Pistols having something to do with Situationism, and The Clash having something to do with Leftist Marxist politics?

SH: It’s rubbish. Joe Strummer would wear a “Red Army Faction” t-shirt or something. If you actually listen to The Clash’s lyrics, you can’t place them in any political ideology. It’s just vague dissatisfaction. I love those song lyrics on the first album. People took it as being left wing, but I don’t think it was anything. It’s symbolic and rhetorical. It doesn’t have any depth, but that’s what I like about it. Mick Jones was from a middle class background, but Strummer went to a private school. His father was a diplomat. As far as The Sex Pistols: they just wanted to be a rock and roll band. They didn’t have anything to do with Situationism. I know Jamie Reid who did all the artwork. When you see Rotten talk these days he’s pretty inarticulate. He’s read all this pretentious rubbish about himself and he tries to reproduce
it, and he sounds absurd doing it because he doesn’t understand what he’s talking about. The way they connected it back to the Situationists was Jamie Reid, and I asked him, and he said that he was never a member of King Mob. King Mob contained several members who were in the British part of the Situationist International. If you read the SI journal, it says that King Mob are not Situationists. All these people want to build up Situationism by saying it had a huge influence on punk. It’s rubbish. The real influence on punk was the harder edge of the sixties. Punk was anti-sixties and anti-flower power, and it drew on the harder edge of the sixties like the yuppies and the Black Panthers. Another influence was the free festivals in Europe and people like The Pink Fairies. They aren’t punk but they were playing songs like “City Kids” and “Waiting For The Man” with tough English accents. One of The Pink Fairies played with Cook and Jones in The Professionals. All the people who were the sound crew and the roadies for The Sex Pistols were from the free festival. That was the most obvious influence.

AL: What do you think of the several anarchist movements so far?

SH: There is an anarchist scene that doesn’t conform to a dictionary definition. It’s this idea of “Are you anti-authoritarian or what are you?” I have problems with any utopian belief. I don’t want to travel to the future that has already been mapped out for me. I want to free up the present. I have problems with post-modernism too. I don’t want to throw away the idea of progress. When I use the notion of progress, I don’t use it in a 19th century absolutist term. I use it as a heuristic device. The idea of the future should be a way to organize the present. I don’t want to know exactly what the future is going to be, but I like a more Sorelian idea. You know, Georges Sorel? I find his ideas very useful. New culture and progress comes out of miscegenation. They don’t come from nowhere.

AL: As far as your book, The Assault On Culture, your art writings and manifestos: how did you get interested in this stuff?

SH: What happened was when I was in school all I wanted to do was to be involved in music, but I wasn’t so good a guitar player. I did a punk fanzine and I was in a band. By 1980, there wasn’t that much happening that I was interested in, musically. By 1982, I got bored of doing fanzines, and I had quit the band I was in. I was bored in the music scene. So I was looking to do something interesting. What I learned from punk rock was I could play an instrument without knowing anything about it. I went to many art exhibits, and I remember one at the ICA in London. I looked at it and thought “This is really lousy. I could do better than this.”

AL: What was it?

SH: It was an exhibition of fake advertising stuff. It was parodies of advertising posters. I thought that it wasn’t a very interesting insight because you can look at Modernist paintings and say “A three year old can do it.” That might be true. That’s banal. What I was interested in was not the fact that I could do it, but how could I get something on a wall in a gallery. I wondered “How does one become an artist?” I have the opposite position of Baudrillard, who says what’s real becomes simulated. My position is what’s simulated becomes real. That’s my Hegelianism: I just want to reverse everything. Or is that Satanism? I became a musician of sorts, or a non-musician, without knowing anything beforehand; maybe I could become an artist? I started advertising myself as an artist. I started taking out classified ads. Doing leaflets saying “Now, I’m an artist.”

AL: Were you writing stories at this time too?

SH: At the same time I started writing this basically banal poetry. All these people in rock bands were getting into poetry and experimental music, which was really awful. At the same time, there was a poetry revival. All these terrible poets get up on stage and reading. People that you had never heard of to people like Ann Clark. They would read about how depressed they were living on the 29th floor of a towerblock and had been burglarized sixty times. I thought that it was dull. So I’d go up there and do these really banal poems about fruit and vegetables, and they’d all be three lines long. I was really into banality for a few years. I had this notion to do plagiarism, not coming through post-modernism because I didn’t know anything about it. It had to do with all these horrible poets talking about being original. My attitude was “Fuck you, if you’re going to be original, I’m going to be unoriginal.” I got into plagiarism, and that was reinforced by reading Lautreamont.

AL: The idea for the Art Strike came in 1985. How did you prepare for that?

SH: I had done Generation Positive, then got involved with the Neoists for a year. I broke with them and at the same time I found out that Gustav Metzger was involved with auto-destructive art in London in the sixties. He ran the “Destruction of Art Symposium” in London in 1966. He announced the original art strike in an ICA catalogue in 1974; it was to run from 1977 to 1980. I thought it was a good idea and wondered why I had never heard of it. His point was the commodification of art. He wanted to close down the galleries but it didn’t work because no one else participated. (Actually I met him for the first time a few weeks ago.) I thought it was a good idea but no one had done anything with it. I took his original text and substituted the years 1990-93. I worked on developing the idea. For years it didn’t get any reaction. By 1989, some momentum was built up, and a lot of people got interested. Through the underground press, it really took off in Britain and America, and especially in San Francisco. At the festival of plagiarism, we had a pamphlet called “Plagiarism, Marxism, Commodities, and Strategies of Its Negation” because it sounded like a good title. But the people in San Francisco took it very literally. “Yeah, I’m really pissed off with my art being commodified!” Doesn’t look like it’s being commodified very well to me. I was much more interested in the ideological function of art. Why corporations sponsor art, how they use it as justifications for their activities, how upper class people use their acquisition of art or high cultural discourse as being superior to other people who might like Oi music or punk rock. It wasn’t realistic to try and get art galleries to close down, until 1992 when art sales dropped 60%. Some people say that my timing was fortuitous, but how in the hell in 1985 would I know that in the middle of the Art Strike everything would start collapsing anyway. In actual fact, it was the psychological effect of my propaganda that did it. There was a recession as well.

AL: In Red London, your descriptions of the sex scenes are sort of a parody. What was that about?

SH: I liked creating an absurd language when it came to describing sex–when you describe their bodies, you just talk about the bulk and you get all these interchangeable words. In the 70’s pulp fiction there was a weird idea of sexuality: on the one hand, it was very natural, and on the other hand people became automatons when they were doing it. They’d lose control of their bodies. There would be odd references to genetics. So I wanted to use that and really push it. It was like taking the idea of pulp and deconstructing it. A lot of people read Red London in relation to books about 70’s youth culture and skinheads. Books by Richard Allen and H. P. Lovecraft. In Lovecraft, there’s an anarchist book and if you read it, you’re driven crazy and you kill the first rich person you see. It’s absurd. I don’t write autobiography, but I know that people will read my books as autobiography. So I lay red herrings, so they get a fucked up idea of what I’m really like. The reader always plays a productive role.

 

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Introduction to the French edition
by Stewart Home

Shortly before his death Roland Barthes complained that in a good many of the doctoral theses he was directing, ideology was denounced with a discourse that was itself ideological. Barthes understated his case, academia has always (re)produced dominant ideologies, and one does not have to call to mind the spectres of Martin Heidegger or Paul de Man to bring this banality into focus. Despite endless hot air about ‘absolute’ relativism, there are fortunately very few ‘scholars’ prepared to defend all political, theoretical and social discourses as being of equal worth. Today, it is a cliche to state that ‘textual’ critiques of the ‘novel’ are ideological. Thus while the meanings of texts are not fixed, those who make a particular reading of a ‘work’ have to live with the consequences the reading they choose to make. Likewise, saying that all positions are not equal does not necessarily entail a defence of ‘canonical literature’. Indeed, I explicitly reject nineteenth-century notions of ‘literary depth’ and ‘characterisation’.

My ‘novel’ Slow Death, and a number of my other ‘works’, feature ‘characters’ who adhere to the fashions of the skinhead youth cult. English reviewers often experience difficulty in distinguishing a ‘novelist’ from the fictional ‘characters’ that populate his or her books. I am often asked if I am a skinhead. If someone in their mid-thirties who makes their living as a writer is likely to adhere to a youth cult, then yes, I am a skinhead. If someone who drinks Laphroaig Islay Single Malt Scotch is likely to adhere to a youth cult, then yes, I am a skinhead. If someone who enjoys reading Marx and Hegel is likely to adhere to a youth cult, then yes, I am a skinhead. What I can state without equivocation is that as someone who views himself as middle-aged, I can see no reason why I would want to identify with youth culture.

As is well known, skinhead-style can be traced back through both the English mod and the Jamaican rude boy cultures of the sixties. Until at least the mid-seventies, all skinheads danced to ska, reggae and soul music. However, despite being conjured up by the promiscuous forces of multicultural becoming, skinheads have at times been associated with both racism and fascism. During the eighties, members of groups like Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice regularly denounced bald-headed bigots for both their nazism and their consumption of ‘hairy’ heavy metal music. While a small minority of skinheads joined Leninist organisations such as Red Action, the vast majority had little interest or involvement in politics of any kind.

With the growth of raves and the subsequent explosion of techno music, skinhead culture isn’t of much interest to the ‘average’ British teenager of the nineteen-nineties. Instead, the skinhead look has been appropriated by gay men. If you want to see a large gathering of skinheads in London today, your best bet is to go to a gay club. In the UK, the popular perception of skinheads has undergone a series of very distinct developments, and these days the look tends to be associated with the gay subculture. Since this book, like everything else, is a self-conscious construction, there was no overarching need to chronicle the gay skinhead scene. The notions I utilise – which include ‘skinheads’, ‘pornographic sex’ and ‘avant-gardism’ – should not be viewed as arbitrary but as self-contained signs. Everything done with these signs immediately effects what they are supposed to represent. When all is said and done, nothing remains but an immense web of reading and writing, folding, unfolding and refolding indefinitely.

 

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Book

 

Stewart Home Slow Death
Serpents Tail

‘In between shagging his doctor and liberating his girlfriend from the Socialist Workers Party, skinhead Johnny Aggro takes on the art establishment. As the poseurs of the art world rush to produce ever more creative piles of crap in the name of art, Johnny revels in the chaos of comic violence and sleazy sex.’ — Serpents Tail

‘Hilarious mix of art world satire and plagiarism of antique English porn and street punk fiction. Home realises that the leading characteristic of pulp fiction is repetition, and he just perfects the method, with highly amusing results. The book is populated with fictional versions of some of Home’s own ‘real-world’ avant garde provocations, although with Home one is never sure what is original and what is a copy; what is ‘real’ and what is fiction.’ — Ken Wark

‘A dreary, noisy novel that recounts with visceral over enthusiasm the adventures of a gang of British skinheads in conflict with a sex-starved woman doctor, a London art star, and one another, as they explore the vicissitudes of Art and Resistance (sic)’ in a foulmouthed frontal assault on the avant-garde art scene. Its contempt for bourgeois values produces some agreeable inventions (Neoism, the Semiotic Liberation Front, and the Journal of Immaterial Art constitute decent throwaway gags at least), but its blood- and-sperm-soaked narrative and its characters’ continual entreaties for oral sex are muted, though scarcely redeemed, by what might in another context be called elegant variation (‘liquid genetics’, indeed). This is the kind of book that gives mindless violence and sexual degradation a bad name.’ — Kirkus Reviews

‘Relentlessly cliched and driven by a slippery sense of humour, Home’s deliberately bad writing does for the novel form what Viz does for the comic strip.’ — Times Literary Supplement

 

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Excerpts











*

The Lark In The Park was largely patronised by the unwashed children of the upper middle classes. Some were students, others simply lived on an allowance from their family or inherited wealth, a few had jobs, although you’d never have guessed this from the state of their clothes. The Raiders were less than impressed by the hairy scum who frothed around the main stage and an assortment of beer tents.

‘Jesus,’ Rebel swore. ‘We’d need to be tooled up with flame-throwers if we were serious about cleaning up this mess!’

Johnny Aggro led his crew to the front of the stage. They shoved their way past hairies who were idiot-dancing, stomped on couples snogging in the grass and verbally abused many of the scum who were in desperate need of a bath.

‘Get your ‘air cut, you slithering piece of shit!’ Slim spat at a particularly obnoxious example of unwashed leather and denim.

‘Don’t oppress me with your fascist views man,’ the hippie warbled. ‘You should loosen up, relax, let everybody do their own thing!’

A punch on the nose sorted the hairy out. The bastard collapsed like a bellow that had been punctured by a pin, then proceeded to writhe in the dirt, clutching his bruised beak in a futile attempt to stem the torrent of blood that was pouring from it.

‘Ha, ha, ha!’ Slim laughed as he booted the cunt in the ribs.

‘The next song is from the new album,’ lead singer Sebastian Sidgwick announced. ‘It’s called A Dialogue In Hell Between Rimbaud And John Dee.’

‘Let’s do ’em!’ Johnny Aggro shouted to his crew as the band strummed the opening bars of the number.

The Raiders leapt on to the stage and split seconds later Hodges grabbed a mike stand and slammed it into Sidgwick’s face. The singer reeled backwards into the drum kit, blood pouring from his mouth. Rebel took care of the bass player, while TK laid out the guitarist. Samson beat off two roadies who tried to rescue the band. Slim grabbed a microphone and shoved it at Rebel’s mouth. Each skinhead knew what was expected of him.

This abuse raised a few of the neanderthals from their lethargy. Some bottles were thrown at the stage, one hit Rebel, shattering against his temple. However, the skinhead didn’t so much as take a step backwards. He just stood his ground and glowered at the hairies as blood poured down his face. The rest of the gang got behind one of the PA stacks and kicked at the speakers until they toppled over, breaking the leg of a hippie whi hadn’t moved fast enough to escape injury as the sound system fell. Seconds later, Johnny caught a glimpse of the old bill running towards the stage. He shouted instructions and the Raiders split, successfully evading Met clutches.

*






 

*

p.s. Hey.  ** David Ehrenstein, Hi. Certainly not impossible about the Robbe-Grillet connection. Rollin was very literary on the edgier side of things. I never met Hollis Frampton. I did attend a couple of screenings where he was there and talked about his work. But I increasingly think he’s one of the greatest ever American filmmakers. ** Bill, Hi. Wow, 2012? I didn’t note the date on its grave. I am enjoying my warm enclosure. I’m not sure how old this building is. Obviously old by US standards. It’s not an especially ‘looker’ building. Kind of a standard fare just sub-bourgeois district pleasant looking entity. ‘Owl’s Legacy’, is terrific, of course. How cool that it’s being screened there. ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi, Ben. I thought I remembered your fondness for the Rollin kind of thing. Nice. ** Nik, Hi, Nik! Yes, indeed, it was your mention that got me to exhume that post. Thank you! Well, our poster is still possibly alive until 3 pm today today when we meet for the first time with PGL’s new press attache. If she’s into it, that overrides our producer, so fingers crossed. The US theater mini-release will be a short run in NYC at the beginning of May, and that’s pretty much it, and then the DVD/streaming release will come quickly thereafter. There’ll still be a few single screenings here and there after that. Best of everything with the busyness. I like being busy, but right now my busyness’s craziness has exceeded my threshold, and things are a bit of a mess. Email, cool, okay, I’ll go find it. Excellent Monday! ** Steve Erickson, Hi. That makes sense: the Rivette thing. Interesting. I wasn’t wild about ‘K+H’, but there are those who quite like it. Curious to hear your opinion. You’re so lucky to have that Patricia Mazuy retrospective nearby. Good old Dennis Lim. Great! Officially announced! Links! Whoo-hoo! ** Manuel Chavarria, Hi, Manuel, welcome! Which gif? Hold on … oh, you’re absolutely right. How did that slip by me? I’ll delete it right now. Hold on. Done. Thanks a lot to your eagle eye and for the tip. ** Misanthrope, Welcome back, G-ster. New bed nirvana. God, I so appreciate the painlessness of your back, me being a guy whose back also attacks me occasionally through no seeming fault of my own. LPS’s cruising for bruisings thing is well past its sell-by date. Dude-ette better smell the coffee pronto. Yes, I did read and feel sadly about King Kong Bundy’s death. I was on that big dude’s side more often than not. ** Okay. I’m attempting to focus your attention on my favorite Stewart Home novel today. Was I successful? Will I ever know? Possibly not, but it’s the doing that counts or something, right? Blah blah. See you tomorrow.

5 Comments

  1. “Slim kicked the cunt in the ribs” is the dark beating heart of Stewart Home. Annette Michelson (not sure if she’s still alive, if so barely hanging on due to Alzheimer’s0 was utterly devoted to Hollis Frampton. I find a few of his films interesting but not appealing overall, IMO — particularly as compared to Michael Snow.

    On the right the next POTUS if all goes well. On te left his way-cute husband> (Google Pete Buttigieg for all the latest details)

  2. Any blogpost that opens with a quote from Hazlitt has got my attention. I feel like such a misfit–everybody here knows all this stuff from the last 30 years, and I spend a lot of my time with Hazlitt and Montaigne and Thomas Browne and Chuang-Tzu. I’m reading a novel by Joseph Conrad, for chrissakes. But heck, those are my homies. (That essay on “The Fight” is killer.)
    I have never looked at Stewart Home long enough to take him very seriously, put off by the same stuff lots of other people are, but now I can see the affinities to a lot of stuff I really like and admire, so . . . on the list.
    This week I have to finish a brief article on the butterfly dream–you know, guy dreamed he was a butterfly–or was he a butterfly dreaming he was a Chinese philosopher? . . . I am dawdling over completing poems, because I’ve really got to send some out. (If anybody reading this has a zine or anything and wants some poems, let me know. Dennis can tell you: I’m just terrific.) . . . I am doing a collage book for Billy Miller to publish. . . . Running a dream group . . .
    Catching up – Yeah, I’ve seen the engaged couple Misa was talking about. The young guy has a temporary tattoo on his ass in one video that says “Daddy’s Little Princess,” so, uh, that’s not a big turn-on for me . . . I had a big Ravel mix on Spotify right at the moment I saw David E’s comment about the cats. Cat-music aside, the ending of L’enfant et les sortilèges is one of my favorite pieces of music ever, and sometimes makes me weep: Ravel: L’enfant et les sortilèges – Ending – Orchestre de la RTF
    I had the *nicest* note from Chrystel, so yeah, all of July in Paris is set, and I have a conference in Kerkrade NL before, and a couple days in Cologne, and I might just try to travel in France for just a bit after, or maybe elsewhere. Arthur and I are going to Berlin and maybe a couple other places before–I don’t know he conceived this sudden interest in Berlin; maybe he’s getting into leather?

  3. Dennis, Stewart Home. I think a bunch of my FB friends (and real life friends) are friends with him, but I know nary a thing about him. I like the excerpts, though. Right up my alley.

    Yeah, I can’t get over how comfy this bed is. I mean, fuck, it’s been 25 years coming, right? Hahaha. But yeah, so great to get up and…just go.

    I don’t know what’ll come of this man, this LPS. All I can do is tell him the right things to do, show him there are other things in the world, other perspectives and stuff, and hope he makes the right decisions. He’s much too concerned with being the cool guy.

    I’ll never forget the Bundy Splash. I sometimes think of it. Like, somebody’ll annoy me and I’ll think, “I’d like to do a Bundy Splash on him!” 😛 Really.

  4. I’ve only read DEFIANT POSE and some essays by Home which are available online. If memory serves, one of his characters mentions your work in DEFIANT POSE.

    Have you heard of the singer/rapper Baby Goth? Weirdly, she’s getting far more publicity from people who hate her for being an industry plant (her Instagram page consists of laughable photos with fake blood, chains, guns and drugs) than actual fans. A year ago, she was a fairly conventional singer/songwriter using her real name who endorsed “positivity and modesty,” then she got a face tat and tons of body tattoos, signed to Universal Records and completely changed her image and sound. Her debut EP under that name came out last month, and I’ve heard one song “Mary,” which sounds like Billie Eilish over generic trap beats if she was deliberately trying to sound like she was mumbling like she just got back from serious dental surgery. But I was curious enough to watch her video once, even if I thought it was awful crap, so the hype is working. Instagram flexing has bottomed out and long since become a parody of itself (half the comments on her photos are about how ridiculous she looks), and it’s depressing to see someone make permanent changes to their body in search of music industry success that probably isn’t coming.

    Maybe tomorrow I can finally announce the Heidari schedule/links and a date for the Q&A with him!

  5. Love this. I remember back a few years when I realized the academic library at my school could get all of Home’s weirdo books and I checked out everything. The reissues on Penny Ante too are so good. Thank you as well for the post awhile back about Ingratitude. I’ve been in this weird limbo thing with Sotos for the past few years where I’ll sort of dip my toe in, get a bit freaked out, and try to figure out my relationship to it. Having your take on the newest book was nice then, like having a professor introduce Sade to me or those Grove editions with the essays we’ve talked about. I have this sense of their unquestionable importance, but I guess because of my anxiety and OCD and whatnot I struggle to just dive in like I did with your books because there’s less mediation from the author between the material and the form. It’s really weird, it seems like once you cross over into that as a reader/audience member, everything else tends to pale in comparison. Sorry veered off. Thank you for sharing this! I hope this finds you quite well.

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