With an announcement like that, who could resist. Truthfully (and ecstatically) I assumed the return of Kathy Acker meant that a publisher was reissuing all the fantastic texts Acker published, from her days in the sex trade until her untimely death by evil cancer. Actually, this was an announcement of a new Kathy Acker book being published containing the revealing and unique correspondence between Acker and her close lover/friend/confidant/colleague McKenzie Wark.
Kathy Acker Returns
In a recent email from The Vocabula Review (Robert Hartwell Fiske) I received the strong admonishment that anyone using the word “read” as a noun (as in “It was a good read.”) was possibly causing the first brick to fall from the edifice of civilization. Now I highly recommend that everyone subscribe and read Fiske’s excellent online monthly The Vocabula Review, but I have a problem with this last bit of instruction: you see, I regularly refer to a non-specified article of human expression as a “read.”
For his early novel, The Nigger of the “Narcissus,” Joseph Conrad wrote a very interesting and thoughtful Preface. Not all editions of this work include the Preface so I want to share it with everyone. The subject is art and the artist: in this case the writer. Conrad is a serious writer and this Preface should be read with the expectation of some effort and thought. Do you agree with Conrad? Do his thoughts fit in with more contemporary views of art and literature? Have you read The Nigger of the “Narcissus”?
Those readers that want to experience this work by Joseph Conrad are in luck: Project Gutenberg contains the text of The Nigger of the “Narcissus” with the Preface intact.