Saturday, 17 July 2021

It comes to an end...

...and so Dennis Cooper's  George Miles cycle comes to an end with the final book to be published in September. I actually bought the second novel in the series 'Frisk' when it came out in 1991 and was blown away by the writing. (“An electrifying study in carnage” the Sunday Times called it and well how could I pass that by...)  
Sure the story is transgressive but I was very surprised that when I would recommend the book to friends that on explaining the plot they were all seriously appalled.  Never had that happen before. I  was disappointed in the film version sadly but hey make up your own mind.
Here's Dennis talking about the planning for the series 

I had a general sense that the cycle would consist of five novels, but that wasn't set in stone. Within that premise of five novels in mind, I'd decided that each of the middle three books would concentrate on one of the ways in which I viewed my subjects. The second novel (Frisk) would prioritize the libidinal, sexual, erotic appeal. The third novel (Try) would prioritize my emotional response. The fourth novel (Guide) would prioritize the cerebral, intellectual, and analytical. The fifth novel (Period) would present what remained after all of the examination, trickery, and damage of the central three novels, creating Closer's decimated, resolved twin. So the task of writing Closer was to both realize all these predetermined notions while creating a novel with enough material within it to sustain the cycle that would follow.
Dennis very kindly promoted my blog when I first started it for which I shall be forever grateful...
"...Mona, Hey. Oh (...) yeah, I remember. You were in Amsterdam when I was there? That's crazy. Crazy 'cos I had no real friends there, so I wish our paths had crossed. It's great you're going to do something on Mike Hart. I can't remember if I ever met him properly -- probably -- but Compendium was such an important and great place, and even though I don't get to London often, I miss it terribly when I'm there. The last reading I did in London was there. Your new blog is lovely. I'll be a reader, and let me alert the folks around here. Everybody, Mona, friend of and occasional commenter on this blog, has a terrific new blog that brings all kinds of things to the fore, from the great Lizzy Mercier Descloux and Miles Davis, for instance, to decisive backroom stuff on nasty Sarah Palin and much more. Check it out...

 ...and yeah it would have been good to have got to know each other in Amsterdam though we did work out that we both got showered with broken glass when someone obviously had taken offence at William Burroughs' reading at the One World Poetry Festival at the Melkweg and smashed this glass door just after he had gone through it but the next five or six people which included Dennis and myself were not so lucky. I still have a recording of Burroughs reading that night (November 12 1985) and when I finally get it digitised Dennis will be the first to get a copy.

Dennis has just posted over on FB that even Kirkus and Publishers Weekly have given starred reviews for I WISHED, and that these are the "first ever stars from those places. Trippy."  It is also always worth checking out Dennis's blog which is one of the greatest out there. Trust me and here's The New Yorker explaing what happened when Google removed his last blog

Finally to confirm when exactly the Burroughs reading was I found the clipping above from an online Jeffrey Lee Pierce archive where it also says this about his Amsterdam appearance:

Interesting that it doesn't say what he read at this, his second ever reading, isn't it?. Truth be told he was paralytic and after five minutes (if that) of mumbles he was escorted offstage by Simon Vinkenoog. Sadly I'd seen him in worse states before. 

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