Blood and Guts in High School

Blood and Guts in High School

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by Kathy Acker
     
 

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Kathy Acker was a high-wire writer. She took risks. She experimented for the sake of it. She made mistakes. She fell. She never wanted a modest success, and so her books, all of them, swing from passages of topflight bravura, where you think, "How did she do that?" to a sawdust-in-your-mouth kind of feeling that you just want to spit out. She is an exhilarating,…  See more details below

Overview


Kathy Acker was a high-wire writer. She took risks. She experimented for the sake of it. She made mistakes. She fell. She never wanted a modest success, and so her books, all of them, swing from passages of topflight bravura, where you think, "How did she do that?" to a sawdust-in-your-mouth kind of feeling that you just want to spit out. She is an exhilarating, exasperating writer who wants you in the ring with her, through the highs and the lows. There was always something touching and trusting about Acker's belief that her audience would not want a smooth finished product of the kind they could buy at any dime store, but would prefer to be in on the process -- flying when she did, falling when she did, nothing leveled out or homogenized.

She was ahead of her time. There is no doubt about that. Acker really was interactive art. It's why she fronted bands -- most famously The Mekons on the CD of Pussy, King of the Pirates -- if you haven't heard it, buy it now. It's why her readings were more like stage shows than those creepy literary events where some dude mumbles in a monotone for half an hour. To see Kathy in her leopard-skin leotard, slash of red lipstick, gym-honed muscles, maybe a dildo, usually a backing track, seduce a packed crowd with that gorgeous voice and knowing childlike look was to discover how exciting art could be. Not rarefied, not back-dated, not dull, just something you suddenly wanted -- the way you suddenly want to be kissed by someone you hadn't even looked at before.

Okay, so Acker was art as performance and language as desire, but was she an important writer? Yes. Important work always has risk in it. That doesn't mean that all risky work is important,but it does mean that safety gets us nowhere. In science this is self-evident. In the arts, and particularly literature, we still moan and groan at experiment. Just gimme a good story, we say, with a beginning, middle, and end. Well, Acker won't do that for you, but she will help you get high.

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Editorial Reviews

Cindy Patton
"[Acker] defines a method of inquiry into our most profound feelings." -- Women's Review of Books
Metro News
"Acker is quickly becoming the hottest, most passionate, sassy, experimental, daring darlign of fiction on both sides of the Atlantic since Genet."
Sally Odriscoll
"(Ackers) is a female voice that goes beyond feminism, artistic freedom turned into a free lifestyle." -- The Village Voice
Cindy Pattten
"(Acker) defines a method of inquiry into her most profound feelings." -- Women's Review of Books

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780802131935
Publisher:
Grove/Atlantic, Inc.
Publication date:
01/28/1994
Series:
Acker, Kathy Series
Pages:
176
Sales rank:
149,015
Product dimensions:
5.94(w) x 9.54(h) x 0.51(d)

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What People are saying about this

Lynn Tillman
"No writer I know is more audacious than Kathy Acker, whose anarchic wit drives a thoroughgoing attack on conventions and complacencies of all sorts. Not unlike Gertrude Stein in her day, Acker gives us a different way to look at the uses to which language is put."
Richard Foreman
"Reading Cassie Acker is like playing hop-scotch with a genius."

Meet the Author


Acker was a pioneer of postmodern fiction

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Blood and Guts in High School 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Blood and Guts in High School was labelled as pornographic by some but showed that Acker was a major voice of postmodern feminism. This novel actually made me briefly grateful that I had read The Scarlet Letter so that I could understand the section that Acker rips out of Hawthorne's novel and deconstructs its in all of its possibly perversity.