Attention Span 2009 – Allyssa Wolf
Bob Dylan | Saved! The Gospel Speeches of Bob Dylan | Hanuman | 1991
This book is about the size of one’s palm, bright pink, the letters in shiny gold cursive. I looked at it every day for a long time, particularly in October.
David Bret | Joan Crawford: Hollywood Martyr | Da Capo | 2006
My friend Amanda Milius lent this to me. She said she read it every night before bed through a hard time, and I also read it every night through a hard time. For that reason it’s a very important book. It is mostly lies and vicious gossip that is probably all true. It reads like Sade’s Juliette, except instead of having its philosophical tale cut with long, bizarre, mechanical, boring scenes of painful sex, this author pastes in long, bizarre, mechanical, boring scenes from Joan’s films. My first published poem included Joan Crawford as Joan of Arc. Hardcover, black, no dust jacket, crushed spine.
The Egyptian Book of the Dead | The Internet | 1240 BC
I’ve been reading this a lot because I’m writing a version of it for Cannibal.
Various Authors | Rolling Stone 1968-1971 | Unknown
This book is gigantic. I think if you stood it up it would come to almost your knees. It smells like somewhere in the seventies. It weighs like 30 pounds. When I read it it was like having a small person in your lap. A rectangular person—with no head or arms or legs—just all jaw. It’s the original issues, all bound together between heavy black plates. The news in each issue across this time was the unfolding of the Altamont story. Philip Jenks lent it to me.
Vanessa Place | Statement of Facts | Mark (s) | 2009
This is good work. It’s a radical realism extending from the line of Charles Reznikoff. It’s a fierce feminism that can be in this time where supposedly it can’t be—not a fuck-me feminism and not focused at all on the author’s pain or glory. It makes it disgusting to talk about how talented and empathetic the author is, even though this author obviously is. This statement of facts in this class-room is what is often advertised as ‘hardcore-real’ when it’s branded ‘on you,’ and not a lifestyle brand. So this work is at least a breathing close facsimile of something not there in literature supposedly there. Statement of Facts probably wouldn’t be ‘written,’ or not handled with this care and knowledge of its contents, and the people in its contents, if this author wasn’t working outside of academia, as a criminal defense lawyer. Thank you scholars, but to make some ideas apocalypse people need to come from other places and disciplines or this kind of work will never happen in literature, it will just pretend to happen. Anyway, this fucked me up. I know the people here. A lot of people do, or are. I would have liked to have seen this placed in the Pottery issue, although I liked her Gone With The Wind piece in there as well.
Donald Judd | Various Works | Chicago Museum of Modern Art | November 2008
Donald Judd | Complete Writings 1959-1975: Gallery Reviews, Book Reviews, Articles, Letters to the Editor, Reports, Statements, Complaints | The Press of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design | 2005
It’s funny maybe and hard to explain to certain someones why Donald Judd is so wildly exciting to me. Probably for some of the same reasons I admire Place’s radical realism, and then on top of that his hysterical high-art aestheticism and emptying logic. This was the first time I’d seen his work in flesh time. I walked back and forth in front of his boxes and cantilevers obsessively looking at angles and shadows from angles.
I also love his writings.
More Allyssa Wolf here.