Early Acker that's interesting in that it's not quite as "balls out" (in certain ways) as much of her other work (I wouldn't quite say "later" because THE BURNING BOMBING OF AMERICA I believe predates this & is itself crazy and perfect)—but what's fascinating here is the direct engagement with "feminism"—and I use scare-quotes here because part of the novel's operating parameters seem to be to constantly destabilize the idea. The character of Kathy waivers between "strong independence" and total dependence upon Rich Men, and I don't think this is a mistake or incongruity on Acker's part. The imperialistic aspect is more troubling, as I at least could never quite figure out what's being affected. Regardless, this is an interesting and troubling (in the best possible way) read.
Florida - 11/13/14
One of the reasons Kathy Acker is amazing is because her body of work really demonstrates what one can do with fiction— how to break all the rules, how to do whatever-the-fuck-you-want and still have that essential narrative thread, the story. Stripped to bits of dialog and seemingly irrelevant explication, Florida achieves with only bare minimums.
DIE IF I DO, DIE IF I DON'T:
DIE IF I WRITE, DIE IF I DON'T
DIE IF I FALL IN LOVE, AND DIE IF I WON'T
My Death My Life by Pier Paolo Pasolini - 12/20/14
This is Acker at her most heterogeneous, perhaps, in that the narrative thread that runs through the novel jumps all over the place, abandoning lines of narrative to jump into new ones, seemingly irrlevant to what has happened before, changing forms rapidly (narrative, epistolary, dialogue driving theater). There was a moment about half way through when I found a certain giddiness in Acker's "madness," amazed that this was an author who some how penetrated the critical conscious to become present (though I wonder, honestly, if those who write under the banner of her name now actually have read her work: formally, apart from the post-feminist thought that runs through it, there has been nothing that I'm aware of that meets the velocity this writing itself sets). But, as this disjunction carries on, despite moments of pure perfection and beauty, one enters a sort of fatigue (I wonder what Blanchot would have to say of Acker's work, or if he would say anything), a sort of exhaustion, too worn down by the aggression in place both formally and in terms of content: reading becomes tedious. Of course, I would insist this does not necessarily mean that the book is bad, as there's some intent in the futility of the novel that Acker presents... but then, after 60 pages of "pla(y)giarizing" Shakespeare as a form to adopt the narrative of the IRA/Irish independence war, there's a flash, like a single film frame flickering present, where what is presented as the subject (Pasolini) is returned, almost without any commentary:
(Modern British soldiers arrive by helicopter to kill her. The British killed Pasolini in order to keep control of their Empire. We always knew the British upper-class're embarrassed of their homosexuality. Caesar and the British Army meet and shake hands)
& then we're in the lower east side among prostitutes & bums, and then the novel is over.