McKenzie Wark: Reverse Cowgirl (2020)

7 May 2020, dusan

“Another genre for another gender.

What if you were trans and didn’t know it? What if there were some hole in your life and you didn’t even know it was there? What if you went through life not knowing why you only felt at home in your body at peak moments of drugs and sex? What if you expended your days avoiding an absence, a hole in being? Reverse Cowgirl is not exactly a memoir. The author doesn’t, in the end, have any answers as to who she really is or was, although maybe she figures out what she could become.

Traveling from Sydney in the 1980s to New York today, Reverse Cowgirl is a comedy of errors, chronicling the author’s failed attempts at being gay and at being straight across the shifting political and media landscapes of the late twentieth century. Finding that the established narratives of being transgender don’t seem to apply to her, Wark borrows from the genres of autofiction, fictocriticism, and new narrative to create a writing practice that can discover the form of a life outside existing accounts of trans experience: an auto-ethnography of the opacity of the self.”

Publisher Semiotext(e), South Pasadena, CA, 2020
Native Agents series
ISBN 9781635901184, 1635901189
199 pages

Reviews: J Inscoe (Rhizomes, 2020), Ondřej Trhoň (Revue Prostor, 2020, CZ).

Interviews with author: Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore (BOMB, 2020), Juliet Jacques (Frieze, 2020), Esmé Hogeveen (Hazlitt, 2020).



Critical Art Ensemble: NovaText (1990)

31 October 2012, dusan

The texts “The Critical Function”, “Unknown Fact Number One”, “Always Already”, “The Funest Experiment”, “Like A Big Dog”, and “This Will Be the Death of Chit-Chat” are letterpressed onto thin, white handmade papers. These lift, like veils, to reveal the “hidden texts” and “annotations” to each piece printed on a sturdier green paper.

Second edition
Self-published, Brooklyn, NY, April 1990
No rights reserved


Harold Aram Veeser: Edward Said: The Charisma of Criticism (2010)

26 October 2012, dusan

This insightful critical biography shows us an Edward Said we did not know. H. Aram Veeser brings forth not the Said of tabloid culture, or Said the remote philosopher, but the actual man, embedded in the politics of the Middle East but soaked in the values of the West and struggling to advance the best European ideas. Veeser shows the organic ties connecting his life, politics, and criticism.

Drawing on what he learned over 35 years as Said’s student and skeptical admirer, Veeser uses never-before-published interviews, debate transcripts, and photographs to discover a Said who had few inhibitions and loathed conventional routine. He stood for originality, loved unique ideas, wore marvelous clothes, and fought with molten fury. For twenty years he embraced and rejected, at the same time, not only the West, but also literary theory and the PLO. At last, his disgust with business-as-usual politics and criticism marooned him on the sidelines of both.

The candid tale of Said’s rise from elite academic precincts to the world stage transforms not only our understanding of Said—the man and the myth—but also our perception of how intellectuals can make their way in the world.

Publisher Routledge, 2010
ISBN 0415902649, 9780415902649
260 pages

review (Kim Peterson, Dissident Voice)

google books