Enter at Your Own Risk : the Dangerous Art of Dennis Cooper


Enter at Your Own Risk : the Dangerous Art of Dennis Cooper



Dennis Cooper has been both praised and censured as the most controversial writer working today for his creation of a searing, outlaw textuality that charts psychosexual terrain uncensored by desire police. This volume is the first to explore Cooper’s significance as a pioneering literary artist who illuminates the hidden or repressed extremities of the fin de millennium American zeitgeist. Leora Lev has assembled a roster of internationally acclaimed scholars, fiction writers, filmmakers, and artists who conjure a provocative encounter between Cooper’s fiction, European transgressive literature and philosophy (e.g., Sade, Rimbaud, Bataille, Bresson), and American psychocultural topographies.

The volume engages with interlocking enigmas at the heart of Cooper’s oeuvre: the paradoxes of art that gestures toward the ineffable reaches of passion, death, epiphany, and paroxystic corporeality; the impacted mysteries within the (homo)erotic body, limned in blood; the jagged fault lines of memory and projection that would invoke impossible objects of desire; liaisons dangereuses between violence and eroticism, French philosophies of desire and contemporary American culture; the melancholia and mourning with which AIDS has infused psychosexual jouissance and gay male specularity; the allure and dangers of neo-gothic internet mise-en-abîmes of identity; queer slackers and revenants adrift in hallucinatory contemporary (sub)urbanscapes; and the challenges of an anarchic textuality that writes against both the mainstream and "alternative" literary grains.

Defying disciplinary border patrols, this volume includes a never-before-published piece by William S. Burroughs and contributions by legendary film iconoclast John Waters, Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham, and James Annesley, Dodie Bellamy, Lawrence Brose, Robert Glück, Kevin Killian, Earl Jackson, Jr., Leora Lev, Matthew Stadler, Brandon Stosuy, Marvin Taylor, and Elizabeth Young. It will appeal to readers interested in intersections between transgressive literature and arts, avant-garde aesthetics, popular culture, queer fiction, neo-gothic subcultures, cinema, cyberspace, and absinthe-tinctured French odes to desire.



Publication Date



Fairleigh Dickinson University Press


Madison, NJ

Enter at Your Own Risk : the Dangerous Art of Dennis Cooper
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