Now do I need to say—how simplistic. But what I want to ask is, why bother being so simplistic? Why bother with the lie of realism? Why bother being so miserable, reductive, when one could play? If I’m going to tell you what the real is by mirroring it, by telling you a story which expresses reality, I’m attempting to tell you how things are. By letting you see through my own eyes, I give you my viewpoints, moral and political. In other words, realism is simply a control method. Realism doesn’t want to negotiate, open into, even know chaos or the body or death. Because those who practice realism want to limit their readers’ perceptions, want to limit perceptions to a centric—which in this society is always a phallocentric—reality. “I am the one,” says the realistic writer, “I’m telling you reality.” And we can talk. I have the same quarrel about narrowing anything to single identity.
In other words, behind every literary or cultural issue lies the political, the realm of political power. And whenever we talk about narration, narrative structure, we’re talking about political power. There are no ivory towers. The desire to play, to make literary structures which play into and in unknown or unknowable realms, those of chance and death and the lack of language, is the desire to live in a world that is open and dangerous, that is limitless. To play, then, both in structure and in content, is to desire to live in wonder.
by Kathy Acker, “The Killers”
Recorded at The Morgan Library and Museum on Jan 16th, 2014 View the original full length video here: http://goo.gl/Us6Q9Y For more LIVE from the NYPL events…
it is weirdly absurd and almost funny to watch two white men on a stage, desperately and transparently trying to uphold the misogynistic roots of their “great literature,” making us all feel so glad to be alive