George & Martha

Overview

George and Martha meet in a seedy motel room on the night before the Republican National Convention. Their affair goes way back, before George stole the election, before Martha built an empire on fascist domesticity. As usual, George numbs his pain over waging perpetual war with cocaine and the promise of kinky sex. Martha is forced to take a long view of her life as she suffers the public humiliation of corporate scandal, on the brink of going to prison. Written in the style of Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia ...

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Overview

George and Martha meet in a seedy motel room on the night before the Republican National Convention. Their affair goes way back, before George stole the election, before Martha built an empire on fascist domesticity. As usual, George numbs his pain over waging perpetual war with cocaine and the promise of kinky sex. Martha is forced to take a long view of her life as she suffers the public humiliation of corporate scandal, on the brink of going to prison. Written in the style of Albee’s Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf, George & Martha is Karen Finley’s most scandalous work to date, a hilarious satire that takes a radical stand on political power, psychosexual relations between men and women, and the current state of affairs. Lavishly illustrated with drawings by the author.

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Editorial Reviews

Lawrence Ferlinghetti
“A hilariously devastating satire...”
Margo Jefferson
“It began with George and Martha Washington. Must it end with George Bush and Martha Stewart? With a nod to Edward Albee, Karen Finley invents a wild tale of their brief hotel encounter on the eve of Martha's imprisonment, illustrated with faux-genteel drawings. Fasten your seatbelts–it's a bumpy, hilarious night.”
Mark Crispin Miller
“This brilliant fantasy shines a devastating light on the pathologies now at the top of our cracked system.”
Amy Heckerling
“Scarily hilarious ... Nobody's mind works like Karen Finley's.”
Jerry Stahl
“No one limns the dark wet palpitating heart of corpo-sexual-psycho-America like Karen Finley. George & Martha is a nasty, hysterical, weirdly plausible bitch-slap of a book that might have been fashioned by Jonathan Swift after a night of caffeinated madness with Georges Bataille and Terry Southern. If our president had an ounce of manhood in his pants,, he would nominate Karen Finley for the Supreme Court. But after George & Martha, she's more likely to end up in Guantanamo.”
From the Publisher
“A hilariously devastating satire ...”—Lawrence Ferlinghetti

“It began with George and Martha Washington. Must it end with George Bush and Martha Stewart? With a nod to Edward Albee, Karen Finley invents a wild tale of their brief hotel encounter on the eve of Martha’s imprisonment, illustrated with faux-genteel drawings. Fasten your seatbelts—it’s a bumpy, hilarious night.”—Margo Jefferson

“This brilliant fantasy shines a devastating light on the pathologies now at the top of our cracked system.”—Mark Crispin Miller

“Scarily hilarious ... Nobody’s mind works like Karen Finley’s.”—Amy Heckerling

“No one limns the dark wet palpitating heart of corpo-sexual-psycho-America like Karen Finley. George & Martha is a nasty, hysterical, weirdly plausible bitch-slap of a book that might have been fashioned by Jonathan Swift after a night of caffeinated madness with Georges Bataille and Terry Southern. If our president had an ounce of manhood in his pants,, he would nominate Karen Finley for the Supreme Court. But after George & Martha, she’s more likely to end up in Guantanamo.”—Jerry Stahl

Publishers Weekly
As one would expect from '80s erotic art performance queen (and NEA witch-hunt target) Karen Finley, this fantasy about a tryst between George Bush and Martha Stewart in a seedy Gotham hotel-the thread count on their pillowcases isn't even 200, as Martha astutely points out -pushes a lot of buttons. It depicts domination, rather lackadaisical fellatio, spanking, cocaine abuse, diaper play and baby wipes, and much pop psychoanalysis, all hung on a George and Martha as broadly drawn as Finley's doodley caricatures that adorn the pages: George is the alcoholic, Jesus-infatuated, dimwit reviled by leftists (he claims to get sexually excited when he sees soldiers or orders an execution); Martha, the narcissistic control freak who arouses herself with mental scripts of aggression like Martha in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf? Finley captures Bush's uncertain relation to language (hard to quote here) and through that lens George comes out as surprisingly down-home and playful, as when he delightedly wraps himself, nude, in the plastic that his dry-cleaned suit comes in. The whole is and will be greeted as a provocation, but it is more like a highly humorous riff on dedicated celeb watching. 200 original drawings. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal
"Now say goodnight, Martha, to your housekeeping Gestapo and give the president a blowjob before I invade another country." The President and the First Lady are having a tawdry, profane, troubled affair. No, not that George and Martha, but Dubya and the First Lady of Domesticity, Martha Stewart. As George awaits his nomination to a second term and Martha prepares for incarceration they bicker, drink, and make troubled stabs at kinky sex. Martha both revels in and reviles her role as the dominant Mother, fueling infantile George's oedipal fantasies. Performance artist extraordinaire Finley (Shock Treatment) enhances minimal narrative and crisp, hilarious dialog with over a hundred crude but amusing drawings to create an experience nearly as vivid as one of her live performances. George & Martha is far more than just ear candy best read aloud; it's a satirical romp that skewers contemporary America's phony politics, hypocritical religion, hollow consumerism, dysfunctional families, hidden addictions, and twisted gender and sexual relations. This sure-to-be-controversial send-up is recommended for all public and academic libraries. Jim Dwyer, California State Univ., Chico Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781844670642
  • Publisher: Verso Books
  • Publication date: 4/15/2006
  • Pages: 108
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Meet the Author

Karen Finley has performed and exhibited her artwork at cultural centers and universities worldwide. Her books includes Shock Treatment, A Different Kind of Intimacy, Enough Is Enough and Living It Up. She teaches Art and Public Policy at Tisch School of the Arts, New York University.

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Table of Contents

Baby love 9
What's love got to do with it? 25
Make love 45
Love & war 57
Love hurts 81
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