Friday, May 8, 2015

Cooper's "Closer" — Follow-Up Questions

Though I realize that most of the group is happy to put Cooper behind them, so to speak, I have a couple of questions that we didn’t get to during our discussion. If anyone could shed light in these areas, I’d be grateful:

1) In the time I’ve been coming to BookMenDC, this is the first book we’ve read whose exclusive subject seems to be sex. QUESTION: Is sex Cooper’s exclusive subject? Or is he writing about sex into order to talk about something else? Does it matter?

2) But, well, the HORROR!, as a Lovecraft character might cry. When I was a kid, I closed my eyes during the terrible scenes in horror movies. And I did that in one chapter of Cooper’s Frisk. What about the nauseating descriptions of sex acts and desires that simply do not figure in my world? Think David Cronenberg films, Dead Ringers, for instance, or Videodrome, or Existenz. Think of the British television series, Black Mirror. QUESTION: So, the question, similar to questions people have raised for ages about “difficult” poetry (e.g. Prynne) is this: Is art worth the nausea?

3) In Guide, Cooper writes: “As Luke has explained, he doesn’t understand why anyone would want to write about the subjects my novels recapitulate so automatically. Neither do I, so we’re even.” QUESTION: Replacing “write about” with “read about”, I have to wonder about who might be Cooper’s ideal reader? Who is he writing for?

—posted for Giogio

No comments: