Ursula K. Le Guin, Dancing at the Edge of the World. Thoughts on Words, Women, Places, Grove Press, 1997
“I have decided that the trouble with print is, it never changes its mind,” writes Ursula Le Guin in her introduction to Dancing at the Edge of the World. But she has, and here is the record of that change in the decade since the publication of her last nonfiction collection, The Language of the Night. And what a mind—strong, supple, disciplined, playful, ranging over the whole field of its concerns, from modern literature to menopause, from utopian thought to rodeos, with an eloquence, wit, and precision that makes for exhilarating reading.
Kathy Acker, Pussy, King of the Pirates, Grove Press, 1996
Loosely related to Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic Treasure Island, Pussy, King of the Pirates is a grrrl pirate story that journeys from the most famous whorehouse in Alexandria though an unidentified, crumbling city that may or may not be sometime in the future, to Brighton Town, England, and, finally, to a ship headed toward Pirate Island, where the stories converge and the vision ends.
Ransacking world history, literature, and language itself to speak to the current zeitgeist, Pussy, King of the Pirates is the literary analogue to the wild girl energy that dominates our rock and roll culture in the 1990s. A daring and passionate litany of disparate narratives and voices, poetry and prose, words and images, Kathy Acker’s newest novel is perhaps her most subversive to date. Her meditations on love, sex, death, and art have made her a writer like no one else working today.
Kathy Acker, Blood and Guts in High School, Grove Press, 2000
Jamey lived in the locked room. Twice a day the Persian slave trader came in and taught her to be a whore. Otherwise there was nothing. Once day she found a pencil stub and scrap of paper in a forgotten corner of the room. She began to write down he life, starting with Parents stink (Her father, who is also her boyfriend, has fallen in love with another woman and is about to leave her). With Blood and Guts in High School, Kathy Acker, whose work has been labeled everthing from post-punk porn to post-punk feminism, has created a brilliantly subversive narrative built from conversation, description, conjecture, and moments snatched from history and literature.
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Parker Tyler, Underground Film: A Critical History, Grove Press, 1969
Parker Tyler was the first critic to write seriously about the early Underground film makers, especially about Stan Brakhage, Sidney Peterson, Gregory Markopoulos, Willard Maas and Maya Deren. Here he assesses their work along with that of Kenneth Anger, Ed Emshwiller, Ron Rice, Peter Kubelka, James Whitney, Stan VanDerBeek, Andy Warhol, Bruce Conner, Paul Sharits, Charles Boultenhouse, and other filmmakers. Discussing the specific films, he shows the variety of current aims and techniques, and traces their origins in Dada and Surrealism and in the classic of Buñuel, Cocteau, René Clair, Eisenstein, and Wiene. He assumes that critical values provide the true key for judging film achievement, and as a result, in this book Underground Film criticism attains a new dimension.