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In this characteristically sexy, daring, and hyperliterate novel, Kathy Acker interweaves the stories of three characters who share the same tragic flaw: a predilection for doomed, obsessive love. Rimbaud, the delinquent symbolist prodigy, is deserted by his lover Verlaine time and time again. Airplane takes a job dancing at Fun City, the seventh tier of the sex industry, in order to support her good-for-nothing boyfriend. And Capitol feels alive only when she's having sex with her brother, Quentin. In Memoriam to Identity is at once a revelatory addition to, and an irreverent critique of, the literature of decadence and self-destruction.
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Acker, known for her scatological excursions into the demimonde of post-modernism, is above all a literalist, and a literary one at that. If her concern is the alienation wrought by industrialization, she literally appropriates Dickens's Pip, as she did in her first novel (sassily titled Great Expectations ), and thrusts him into the complexities of her time. In this new book, Acker mourns the childhood innocence (mostly sexual) lost to socialization. She invokes the writings of Rimbaud and Faulkner, blending them with modern angst and not a little political posturing--about AIDS, Thatcherism, etc. The book's four interlocking stories detail Rimbaud's doomed relationships with his mother and the poet Verlaine, Quentin Compson's deluded engagement with his unfolding fate and the tragic exploitation (again, mostly sexual) of several other characters. The tie that binds these narratives is the frenetic struggle to escape from the limitations of the social self. Acker writes with the coldest beauty and the most perfervid excess; she will find the audience that wants nothing in between.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Acker's is not polite fiction, nor is it naturalistic. It is, however, challenging, certainly in its style and form but even more in its smart, articulated anger and willingness to affront its audience. Appropriating the lives and works of Rimbaud and Faulkner, this novel continues the challenge. The novel's first three sections introduce its three story lines: Rimbaud and his complex, miserable affair with the older poet Verlaine; Airplane, a young woman working in a sex show, whose story concerns innocence and wildness and public and private acts; and Capitol, the lover of Faulkner's Quentin Compson, a girl struggling free of her parents' influence. As Acker's title warns, memory and identity are linked. Themes recur and change, joining the novel's separate parts until the individual stories themselves become joined and their characters interact. There is much to praise in this difficult novel, not least of which is Acker's confident manipulation of narrative technique.
- Kevin Ray, Washington Univ., St. Louis
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Grove Weidenfeld. Hardcover. Condition: Very Good. A copy that has been read, but remains in excellent condition. Pages are intact and are not marred by notes or highlighting, but may contain a neat previous owner name. The spine remains undamaged. At ThriftBooks, our motto is: Read More, Spend Less. Seller Inventory # G0044405685I4N00
Book Description Grove Weidenfeld, 1990. Condition: Good. A+ Customer service! Satisfaction Guaranteed! Book is in Used-Good condition. Pages and cover are clean and intact. Used items may not include supplementary materials such as CDs or access codes. May show signs of minor shelf wear and contain limited notes and highlighting. Seller Inventory # 0044405685-2-4
Book Description Grove Weidenfeld. Condition: Good. Shows some signs of wear but in good overall condition. Seller Inventory # Z1-G-031-00504
Book Description Pandora, New York, 1990. Hard Cover. Condition: Near Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine. First Edition. Near fine in near fine dust jacket with slight wear to spine extremities of both. Seller Inventory # 011484
Book Description Pandora, 1990. Hardcover. Condition: Acceptable. This book may include some defects such moderate highlighting and notes. Cover and some pages may be creased and show discolouration. Ex-library. However the book is still readable. we ship books from UK within 1 working day. Seller Inventory # mon0000502950
Book Description Pandora, London, 1990. Hardcover. Condition: Fine. Dust Jacket Condition: Fine. First Edition. Novel on the theme of identity, that draws on the troubled life of Rimbaud and his lover Verlaine. 265 pages. First edition, first impression. Blue cloth boards, unclipped dust jacket (now in a removable protective sleeve). Minimal shelf wear, no inscriptions, tight and square binding. Photographs available on request. All books dispatched same or next working day in robust packaging. Seller Inventory # 002948
Book Description Pandora 90, London. Cloth. Condition: As New. Dust Jacket Condition: As New. First Edition. Perfect condition - Book in Near mint condition pages slightly creaming - dustjacket in very good plus condition. A good collectable editon. first edition, first printing Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾" tall. Seller Inventory # 000004
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