The blog of author Dennis Cooper

Tough crowd



p.s. Hey. ** Bertie Marshall, Well, hello there, Bertie! What a pleasure to have you here! Awesome that you got to see Guyotat read so relatively early. I saw him read once about eight years ago here at Centre Pompidou. Of course I didn’t understand a syllable of what he read, but my French friends who were with me said they didn’t either. Take care. ** Dóra Grőber, Hi! Thanks, yeah, that book is quite amazing. Yes, wanting to be prepared, that’s probably it. Overly prepared maybe. Thanks, me too, about the possible performer. We’re waiting to hear back. Oh, of course your job or ‘job’ of doing those interviews sounds extremely interesting. And no doubt you’ll learn and find things you can use in your own thinking and work at the same time, no? I’ve heard of ‘About Ray’. It’s depressing that so often when documentaries are about young people they mostly concentrate on how adults cope and deal with them. Well, not just in documentaries, but in life too. The way adults treat young people like foreigners has always been ugly and bewildering to me. My day wasn’t too exciting, and, no, I didn’t brave the cold apart from running some errands. Oh, well. I did find out that, as I had been told, it is impossible for me to set up a bank account in France without residency status, so this is a huge problem since I need an account to rent a new apartment, and I need to find a new apartment very soon. Trying to figure that out. Otherwise, Zac and our film’s DP Michael/Kiddiepunk had a meeting last evening at this movie equipment/crew renting organization here who have offered us a good deal on renting the equipment we’ll need and providing some of our technical crew, and I’ll find out what happened today. Not much else. We’ll see what today springs on me. What did it spring on you? ** David Ehrenstein, Hi, David. Yes, indeed. Pretty amazing that Hedi was able to organize that USA Guyotat tour. Based on what I saw/remember of the ‘****’ cut, I totally see what you mean about the ‘Out 1′ importance-level comparison. ** Tosh Berman, You showed Barrios’s cut during your tenure too? Oh, wait, I think I remember you doing that now. Yeah, I haven’t seen/heard hide nor hair of Gregg in ages. I do agree with you about the importance of creating a, at the very least, database of the history of Beyond Baroque’s programming. Their website is so inadequate. As disorganized as that place can be, surely they have some kind of record. I think there really should be either a book or documentary about the place. When I started going there in the mid-70s, Jim Krusoe ran the series, followed by Bob Flanagan, me, Benjamin Weissman, you, Fred Dewey, … I embarrassingly don’t know who runs the series now. Am I forgetting someone? ** Sypha, Hi. Yeah, your hardly doing anything is akin to other writers’ super productive streaks. Of course I find what you say about that time machine story very exciting, formally and story-wise. I can’t wait to read it. ** Bernard, Hi, B. Yes, I think we essentially agree about ‘the traditional’. I was mostly talking about the brand of conventions that many writing programs aim to embed in aspiring writers’ approaches and which end up being excessively visible as a kind of literary flab in graduates’ fiction. And it’s actually more of a problem (to me, at least) the more ‘daring’ those officially trained writers try to be. I.e. your Franzens, Safran Foers, Lethems, Tartts, and so forth where it’s like the book equivalent of going to see some theater work that you’ve read/heard is Robert Wilson-esque and seeing some artsy production of ‘Phantom of the Opera’. Stuff like that. Yeah, I think the impression of stasis in Guyotat’s work is transgressible with patience. I find his writing explosively energetic. But I’m stuck in my head. Yes, you were in LA for the Northridge quake! The eeriest thing for me was first hearing that sound like a giant train was approaching my apartment, and then … bang. I’m fairly sure you didn’t do an Eartha Kitt post before, but I would be honored, thrilled, grateful, and all that good stuff if you want to do that. ** Steevee, Hi. Roger ‘liked’ the post on Facebook, so maybe he saw it. Yes, I am reading closely on what the effects of the ACA repeat will mean, and, yes, terrifying. ** Jeff J, Thanks, Jeff. I don’t know that story about the nervous breakdown. I wouldn’t be surprised. There hasn’t been a new edition of ‘Eden Eden Eden’, just the change in the cover design a long time ago. There’s obviously something fucked up going on behind the scenes that no one has reprinted that book. Creation Books went down so violently and controversially that I assume the problem is with getting the rights from the ex-publisher, who seems to have basically disappeared. It sucks. Really sorry to hear about the bad news re: your novel. Put it out of your mind, obviously. I look forward to talking with you about the novel once I finish reading it. Erpenbeck, cool, yeah, really interesting writer right? ** _Black_Acrylic, Hi. Holy shit, it’s time! You’re heading off to the festival! Man, have such a great time there, and I can’t wait to hear how the screening and everything else went! Safe travels, and knock ’em very dead! ** H, Hi. Thank you. Yes, I think I agree with you about Schneemann’s work, based on my memory of it at least. Yes, I like George Kuchar’s work very much. I did a post on the dead blog about the Kuchars’ work that I need to restore. Favorites? Wow, he made so many films and videos. Off the top of my head, ‘Thundercrack!’, obviously, and … ‘The Nocturnal Immaculation’, and, hm, ‘Pagan Rhapsody’? I’d need to really think about it to be definitive at all. ** New Juche, Hey! I did get your email. I haven’t gotten to it yet, but I will today. I agree with you about how Guyotat’s writing works when you get fully inside it. Great to see you, Joe! ** Jamie, I don’t think I know the reference, but it worked anyway. Oh, wait do you mean ‘Secret Agent Man’? I remember that early series starring Patrick McGoohan. Or I at least remember the theme song which was either a hit single in the US or a hit single in my head. The cold’s kind of good. I’m kind of all right with it, not that I’m being that brave re: it. Oh, that does sound rough, the writing yesterday. Your methodology sounds pretty practical. With Zac and me, we sit and throw ideas around, and I take notes. Then I go home and type up something based on our discussion because I’m ‘the writer’, or, really, because I’m faster at writing drafts than he is because he’s always very meticulous, and then we go over it, make changes, etc., and I write that up, and on and on until we’re basically fine tuning details and until we’re both totally happy with it. I can’t remember what dulce de leche is. I’ll find out. Tuesday was pretty okay, pretty uneventful. Bad news (bank account), good news (everything else). Today might be interesting. Zac has to fly to the US for his grandmother’s funeral tomorrow, and we have this ritual or whatever that whenever he goes out of town, I give him a bag of edible treats for his flight or train, which I gather by going around Paris selecting highights from various patisseries and chocolatiers and so on, and so I’ll be doing that today, and I like taking that adventure, so today will have that going for it if nothing else. And you and Wednesday? How did you two get along? And any news about what you wrote? I see (in the betting sense) your love with Scottish undertones and offer you French love with undergrowth, whatever that means, Dennis. ** Misanthrope, True, better to be busy with a job than twiddling your thumbs with an empty cupboard. Oh, okay, I get it about him wanting to be there for the historical thing. That makes sense. Me, I’m going to turn off the TV, computer, and everything else while the inauguration is happening, which shouldn’t be too hard since most of it will happen after my bedtime here. ** Okay. I made an energetic thing for you today. See you tomorrow.


  1. Hi!

    Today’s post reminded me of an old mosh pit post you made. I loved that and I loved this one, too. Brutal and frightening and energetic. Thank you.

    Yes, I think the interviews will give me a lot, not just as a job but as inspiration, too. I’m looking forward to starting them – I can do so as soon as I get all the details about the whole research so far.
    Yes, yes. Initially I thought it was a good idea to focus on the parents’ hardships in connection with their child’s transition but I didn’t like how they did it in the end. Ray’s character was basically nothing more than the label ‘trans guy’, it had no depth at all. He could’ve been any kind of ‘problematic teenager’ which takes us to what you said about how adults treat young people as ‘problematic’ or totally foreign simply because they’re young. It’s quite baffling, actually.
    This is a very shitty situation about the bank account. I literally can’t say anything useful, only that I hope you do find a solution very soon! I’m sorry you have to deal with this.
    I’m really glad to hear the news about the equipment/crew deal, though! I’m happy there’s good progress with it!
    I spent the morning looking for dog trainers or schools where I can go with our pup because it’s impossible to walk with her without breaking our arms and legs. She’s absolutely hyper when we’re out. Other than this I’ll just need to run some errands in the afternoon.
    How was your day? I hope it was great!

  2. Hi D

    What an epic stack! I feel sorry for the girl that got a round house kick to the face. that seems like extreme moshing, or like a punk version of the kung fu fighting song. i made this https://vimeo.com/37171292 a while a go but it might fit in here.
    I’ve been lost in a pile of work and emails, I got into a show here, sorlandsutstillingen (south of norway show), but its happening in 3 weeks, thankfully the work is done and it takes 5mins to install. just about to re write a press release and remove the over explaining as it kills anyones experience of looking at stuff. excited to get back to dublin in a few weeks, as theres some awesomeness waiting for me there, mostly Thomas Moore’s latest book which just missed me last trip, and this Amygdalatropolis by B R Yeager which just came out today https://schismmsihcs.wordpress.com/schism2-books/ my friend wrote the intro and its sounded amazing and might be up your alley?
    I’ve been meaning to snag Eden Eden Eden but its crazy money in english, i read your bit about creation books, hopefully it will resurface at some point.
    Very sad about Mark Fisher, I really enjoyed his writing, I’ve been reading k-punk for years on and off, and Awesome about Chelsea Manning hopefully some more good things will happen before the bad thing does 🙁
    Robert Aiki Aubrey Lowe’s secret 13 mix is humming in my ears, bordering on cheesy newage but the good side of it.
    Fingers crossed you can wrangle a way around a bank account and get a place? The Bookseller is waiting to hear again if she can get permanent residency too. A massive slew of 1st editions and fancy stuff has appeared there, or so I’m lead to believe via social media.
    Oh I saw assassin’s creed which felt like one long cut scene with some fight scenes and michael fassbender looking pained or ominous, i’m gonna try and pick the film next time. the cinema here is weird, as it feel like a stage for plays, so you need to sit down the front to be in the middle of the screen, screen 2 is tiny, about 7 rows deep.
    theres a few days left for that piece i wrote then it disappears and i can feel better that my words are gone again. I have no idea how you can sit down and write a book its mind boggling and amazing to me.
    Hope you have a nice day hunting for yummy things! I really really miss that.
    Bon bon adventure

  3. Morning, Dennis! Look at all these early comments. Great post indeed. Reminds me a little of SY’s Teenage Riot video, just for all that rock energy and the fact that it make me want to go to a hardcore gig in a basement somewhere. Good one!
    Seems Secret Agent Man was the song used in the credit sequence for the U.S. screening of Danger Man. The UK probably got a turgid brass ensemble.
    Your ritual of buying all the sweet stuff for Zac on his travels is lovely. Hope that you had a nice little adventure when doing so. How’d it go? How did you and he meet, if that’s not way too nosey of me (forgive me and ignore if it is!)?
    You get up to anything else today? I’m currently editing yesterday’s script. which is better than it seemed yesterday, but needs a bit of a spark. So, I’m going to try and make that spark, which explains why I’m here so early, procrastinating.
    What’s up with the bank account? It’s for the new flat, right? How’s all that going? I feel for you with that officious world of hassle, man. May you get it sorted asap.
    I see your French love with undergrowth and raise it by Great British bushel of love. And that’s that. Have a lovely day!

  4. Bertie Marshall

    January 18, 2017 at 3:45 pm

    hey dennis, nice to be here! time where does it go? – the Brighton gig we did was 23 years ago!!! yep forget to mention that Guyotat reading was pissed on by the fuckwits at creation books who tried to have some arsehole ‘translate’ Mr G’s text… it was an hour of humiliation … but the bare table and angle poise lamp gave it a Beckettian? feel… forget to say thanks for Delphine Seyrig a while back… has anyone ever seen her son Duncan?

  5. I’ll never forget seeing Iggy throw himself from the stage and into the crowd at the New York State Pavilion in Flushing Meadow. After the World’s Fair the place was for several years a rock concert venue. Much fun.

    Latest FaBlog: Mourning Joe

  6. On Friday night, I plan to spend my evening watching the final 90 minutes of OJ: MADE IN AMERICA, which is one of the most insightful films made about race and racism in America (and encyclopedic and obsessive in a way you might appreciate), instead of the inauguration.

    Tonight, my latest Zyprexa withdrawal starts. I’m seeing my shrink this afternoon – hope he has some good advice about what to do if I’m up til 5 AM. I really don’t know what to expect, but at least I can call him tomorrow if thins go badly. After this, I’ll finally be kicking it entirely in March.

    That sucks about the residency requirement. Any chance you could get a sublet?

  7. Thanks Dennis!

    For various reasons I feel a bit like today’s post at the moment. It’s been a productive week, and I seem to be just about on top of my work schedule as well, which makes going home soon all the more likely.

    I can’t remember now if yesterday someone, or even you, mentioned this, but a scan of Eden Eden Eden is or was recently available on something called Scribd. Maybe that’s where you got the sample from? It is a shame that the chance of a new edition died with Creation.

    And man I’m sorry to hear your apartment/French bank account issues are continuing. Have French banks just completely stopped allowing non-residents to open accounts? Hope you find a way.



  8. Dennis, yeah, I’m excited at the idea of seeing my story in print though I also worry that maybe it’ll make me look like a giant perv… one of the reasons why I made the narrator look as unlike me as possible (I describe him as looking like a dead ringer for Bob Balaban, as he appeared in his guest stint on the show “Friends”). But I guess that the publisher (Snuggly Books) will be going all out promoting this book once it is released (they’re hoping for sites like HTMLGiant, VICE, and so on). I even volunteered to help put together a day on this blog for it (if you’ll have it), though that won’t be until further down the line. Right now the working title for the book is “Drowning in Beauty.” What the hell, I’ll even post the submission information here for people who might be interested in that:


    Right now I’m trying to think of a good icebreaker for the cute 20 year old who liked my profile on OkCupid yesterday (I reactivated my profile on there last week). I’m out of practice for this kind of thing!

  9. Hey, Dennis!
    Today’s post is a blast. I’ve enjoyed looking at these crazy crowds! That guy with the Misfits T-shirt is very funny.
    Sorry I couldn’t reply yesterday. I’ve been getting more and more work assignments this week and I’m quite busy. I also found out about some tax forms I have to fill out and since I don’t have a clue about how to do that, I had to go the tax agency. As you can see, I’m not doing anything remarkable these days… I’m so sorry about your bank account/new apartment situation, that sounds very stressing. I do hope you can sort it out very soon. There has to be a solution. Did it snow at least? It seems crazy it doesn’t with that temperature. This morning it was 2 degrees here, which for Barcelona is extremely rare.

  10. DC, you epic motherfucker

    AAAAARGH! An EDEN EDEN EDEN post! Amazing. I was going to comment on it yesterday (or this morning rather after Grant Maierhofer gave me a nudge on Twitter) but there’s always the risk of my turning all nerdy and fanboyish around Guyotat stuff so I figured I’d chill. As you can see from the opening to this message, however, I have zero chill where PG is concerned. OK, so I don’t know if anyone will be listening now but:

    Bertie Marshall:
    A video of that reading was played at an event at the ICA London recently, for the launch of Stephen Barber’s book of essays about Guyotat. Mesmerising performance — breath and voice rrrrrrrrruuuuuuuummmmmmmblinggggg!

    Jeff J:
    I think Helen Lane translated EDEN EDEN EDEN first? Paul Buck, who if you don’t know him is an incredible experimental lit force in London, shared a story about the first translator burning the book when she’d finished it. Sad but true. Graham Fox did the only remaining translation for his PhD I think and it’s super rough.

    Static? Hm I dunno. Bernie man, get the French version and read it aloud. It’s incredibly musical. There’s lots of formal stuff going on in it also that tends to be forgotten: like it’s made up of three parts/locations but PG’s idea was that they’d be going on simultaneously, so keep that in mind when you read it.

    if you read French and you’re interested in Pierre Guyotat, get Catherine Brun’s biography of him, it’s exceptional…

    Also I wrote an essay about EDEN EDEN EDEN that’s here (if the link doesn’t work hmu on Twitter @dehester and I’ll send it to you)

    Gotta go — sorry I haven’t even mentioned this post man!!



  11. P.S. I also want to say that I first encountered EDEN EDEN EDEN right here (or, well, over there) at DC’s so for that and everything else dear DC: thanks!
    D xx

  12. Hi Dennis,

    Sorry about the bank & apartment thing. Being a foreigner anywhere is difficult unless you’re a millionaire. I hope you can resolve your residency matters soon — that way you can work and live more comfortably. Can’t artist agents or lawyers help you with this? (In the US, with an artists visa, people can have the US bank account…)

    So glad you like Kuchar brothers. As you know I admire your taste, if you don’t like something, I kind of get discouraged. I find their work so poetic like I said, so yes I’m happy to spend some days in writing about their work. (I need this sort of excitement, I think, occasionally…)

    • Yes, THUNDERCRACK was directed by Curt McDowell. But its screenplay is written by George Kuchar. (My colleague is very into Curt McDowell’s work and he’s been extensively researching & writing about him, which is quite exciting.)

  13. Lethem seems like the most interesting writer of the four you’ve just named. Have you read his early brief, sci-fi-influenced novels? Or would they be examples of fake adventurous fiction? He once said “punk rock, Philip K. Dick and pot ruined me” and meant it in a positive way. Those influences aren’t exactly revolutionary, but I can’t imagine Tartt or Franzen saying that.

  14. I really was charmed by “20th-century Women” and the lead kid is great the way he plays a boy who just wants his mother to stop worrying about him and then is busted up feeling his mom isn’t trying to include him in her life. This parent/child dependence/autonomy thing is the Great Theme of nearly everything, and in this movie it’s in the setting (1979)of wanting to get into clubs too young to get in without faking ID, and the mosh scene is sweet. Annette Beining is America’s mom (though it must be weird to always play that).
    Back to fiction: Oh, well when you put it that way: It’s like an honor roll of fiction infamy. Yes, we are all stuck in our sociopolitical nexuses but there’s a kind of fiction produced by these programs (I was in one, once upon a time, but I have a friend who was at Iowa recently and wow, what a horror show) that is motivated by all the same ladder-of-success social markers you find in any educational bureaucracy, or any bureaucracy for that matter, so that it seems that their whole purpose is to take people with ideas and verbal talent and quirks and turn all that into “Ideas” and “Talent” and “Quirks!” that can be marketed–so that the number of people actively exploring writing to say whatever there is to be said that might really encourage growth in people is diminished, and so that many of the most promising are picked off–as when they go into advertising, which does much the same thing with talent and energy.
    I actually don’t read hardly any contemporary fiction, but I am kissing good stuff that way–I do read some–but I am always so drawn to old stuff, and sometimes to read something from a society as distant from us as Tolstoy’s or Euripides’ or Defoe’s is, like good contemporary fiction, an exercise in reframing really basic life experiences in a different way than you’re seeing all around you.
    By the way, Kuchar was in “Thundercrack” and I’m sure he helped with it but the direction is credited to Curt McDowell, who is kind of my film hero. I corresponded with his sister once about it.
    Steevee has a really good idea: I think I will spend much of Friday (which I’ve set aside for video bingeing and no news Anyway) with the OJ doc and the mass-incarceration doc and maybe some “The Man in the High Castle,” which I started and liked, and which makes Fascist rule in the US entertaining in a sci-fi scary way. And even reading Baldwin. Meanwhile: Houseguests, as whenever there’s a big demonstration in DC, which isn’t often enough but may be continuous soon.

  15. Hey Dennis – Great crowd action here, really kinetic and out of control feel to it. For some reason, in this context, the image of Courtney Love shedding her guitar and diving into the fray really hit me. How she’s a ghost of herself, or something. Those Fugazi images too. And that crazy back-flip!

    Thanks about the novel, trying to push past the news and look forward to discussing whenever you’re ready.

    You seen any movies you recommend lately? I can un-recommend “Into the Forest” which struck me as very blah and can’t figure why it made some critics year-end lists. “Rogue One” is fun but transatlantic plane fare for sure. The theater where I saw it was full of kids watching their phones instead of the film, apparently bored by the wall-to-wall action. I was underwhelmed by “Silence” which felt way too long and baggy to me, but the film has also stayed with me in ways not many have in the last month or so. Still mulling it over. You ever see the original Japanese movie by Shinoda from the 70s?

  16. Dennis, Tough crowd indeed.

    Hmm, I think the USA TODAY said the inauguration is around noon here. So you better have that TV off. I doubt I’ll even be up by then. I’ll only see it if my mom’s up -which I doubt- and she has it on and I walk through the living room.

    But I am glad to have the day off. I’m hella tired. I wish they had an inauguration every Friday. 😛 Just do someone different each time.

    That would be awesome…a new president every week. Hmm…

    I’ve also got this idea to put up framed pics of internal organs throughout the house. You know how people will have pics of their family all throughout their houses? I think it’d be much more awesome to have pics of internal organs. And you just don’t say anything, you just let people wonder and maybe ask. “Oh, that’s a heart.” And you just keep on keeping on like it’s the most natural thing in the world.

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