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Literary Criticism

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Dennis Cooper

Writing at the Edge

Paul Hegarty is Lecturer in Cultural Studies, Department of French, University College Cork. He is the author of Georges Bataille, Jean Baudrillard and Noise/Music.

Danny Kennedy is a research graduate in the Department of English, University College Cork, and teaches modern literature and theory.


Dennis Cooper’s writing has acquired a ferocious reputation for its bold experimentation, its transgressive content, and its emotional content, which is both Romantic and touching, whilst cold and hard-edged. For over twenty years Cooper has explored the boundaries of human living, and sexuality’s centrality to that living. The extreme situations he develops in his writing bring out parts of gay experience that a consensual ‘community’ often shies away from, likewise the heterosexual mainstream. His most important genre is undoubtedly fiction, but Cooper has also written poetry, large quantities of journalistic works, notably for Artforum and Spin, and, recently has had great success and recognition with theatrical works.
…Writing at the Edge enters deep into the worlds Cooper fabricates – and into the coolness of his expression. This challenging work is addressed by a group of mostly young and new critical writers and academics who provide creative responses to Cooper’s artistry. The contributions, which cover the breadth of Cooper’s work, develop themes and devices that advance his profound and disturbing world view. In addition to the artistic responses, the topics in the critical pieces range from sexuality in the suburbs, to neurological responses to the work, via the limits and possibilities of bodies. Others look at the implications of contemporary electronic communication as outlined in Cooper’s recent work, or the use of space. Cooper’s writing receives a multi-faceted contextualisation, and his literary ideas are made accessible to any reader interested in learning why Cooper is today regarded as one of the foremost writers in expressing the psychological point behind the centrality of sexual expression.


Hardback ISBN: 978-1-84519-187-0
Hardback Price: £55.00 / $74.50
Release Date: March 2008
   
Paperback ISBN: 978-1-84519-552-6
Paperback Price: £25.00 / $34.95
Release Date: July 2012
   
Page Extent / Format: 240 pp. / 229 x 152 mm
Illustrated: Colour plate section
   

 




Acknowledgments
Introduction

Ugly Man
The Boy on the Far Left
Graduate Seminar
Santa Claus vs. Johnny Crawford
The Worst (1960–1971)
Three boys who thought experimental fiction was for pussies

MARTIN DINES
Wasteland of the Free: Suburbia and Autonomy in Dennis Cooper’s Try

DAMON YOUNG
Skin Deep, or, Getting Inside (Your Head): My Loose Thread

TIMOTHY C. BAKER
The Whole is the Untrue: Experience and Community in The Sluts

DANNY KENNEDY
The Immature Narrative: Ferdydurkism in Closer

LEORA LEV
Next: Vampiric Epistolarity, Haunted Cyberspace, and Dennis Cooper’s Positively Mutant Multimedia Offspring

NICK HUDSON
Summer of ’92
Summer Sigil (Bear’s Invocation)
The Under Boys
Matthew
Feed The Cabin Fever
Dream Ballad of Manyana

Colour Plates

ALEX ROSE
CL MARTIN
ASPEN MICHAEL TAYLOR
JEAN-PAUL CAUVIN
The Pope of Arranged Disaster
Good Evening
Birds and Strangers
Young Man, Here’s Trouble
Finished
Famished
The Adversary

MATIAS VIEGENER
Philosophy in the Bedroom: Pornography and Philosophy in Dennis Cooper’s Writing

PIERRE-LOUIS PATOINE
Is This Text Fucking With My Brain? A Neuroaesthetic Reading of Dennis Cooper’s Guide

DIARMUID E. HESTER
Plus d’un Georges: Dennis Cooper and the Work of Mourning George Miles

PAUL HEGARTY
The Self Contained and its Emptying in Frisk

WAYNE KOESTENBAUM
Cardinal Virtues of Dennis Cooper

Interview with DENNIS COOPER

The Contributors
Index


Review Quotes to Follow


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