Issue 154 | March 2015
Authors are not always protagonists and first person doesn’t guarantee intimacy, but sometimes Kathy Acker lights a match. She taught me that sometimes, a character speaks and so defies time and space. A character -- a person -- disrupts. The social-political energy is what changes, not the physical space or the characters. This is a kind of magical thinking, to me, or at least it’s different than the change I want as an activist. In that world, Cinderella-quick change usually just means somebody gets whiplash.
"Several 'ifs' would have made me less resistant to learning English. For example, it might have helped if I were a European and not an Asian; there were just too few Asians on the East Coast in the 1960s for me to feel at home. Or if I had been younger and not yet an avid reader of novels. Or if there hadn't been a substantial corpus of Japanese modern literature, an abundance of highly regarded books that a girl like me could lose herself in. Or if I had been smart enough to realize that we had indeed already entered the age of English! But, as it happened, the more I read in Japanese, the more I loved Japanese literature and the less attractive reading in English -- not to mention speaking in English -- became. Anyway, teenagers are obstinate. I suppose I was defiant in my own childish way, revolting against what seemed to me the American assumption that every living soul must be dying to become an American."
Hawthorne inspired and reinforced Melville's conviction to elevate the writing of Moby-Dick beyond any of the parameters he had previously explored with his earlier work. Melville's "Mosses" review is clearly intoxicating in its display of ambitious declarative and he dedicates Moby-Dick to Hawthorne: "In token of my admiration for his genius, this book is inscribed to Nathaniel Hawthorne." As a result of clear gaps between what is readily evident and what is clearly unknown, questions swirl regarding the relationship between the two authors. Hage hopes to offer answer to at least some of them.
Patrick James Dunagan
"Fighting has its own culture, psychology, and value system. It's a kind of intimacy unlike any other. And it's taboo for women. So what if, like Nina Black, you were a genius at this one thing, the thing you were forbidden to do? Of course it would pervert you. You'd be at the outermost edges of human life. Anything might happen inside your orbit."
"Have you ever been to a Hampton Inn lobby after they've taken the breakfast away? There's a very particular, very sad scent associated with a hot breakfast that is no longer available. The stale coffee, the few bananas left behind in a wire basket. They're prompt at the Hampton Inn. Whatever the hour is that breakfast ends, they are on it. I was in Newark for Erik's fight, having missed breakfast, when I first read Georges Bataille's Inner Experience. 'Be entered ocularly,' Bataille says. Or at least I think he does; I haven't been able to find the quote since I think I came across it after missing breakfast. But ever since I have conceived of this as Kit's ideal. That the spectacle might enter without the mediation of consciousness. That instead of thinking, analyzing, processing, she might be entered ocularly. I think of the cameras on tracks on the arena ceiling, the pure, dumb eyes."
"I didn't write this book because of the movies my dad watched -- but I am able to tell a story in this manner because of the movies my dad watched and I watched and continue to watch. I wrote the story because I wanted to tell a great action adventure with a very real heart to it -- I wanted to talk about parental responsibility and personal identity and how our relationships affect each other with real repercussions, and, yes, I also wanted to crash a helicopter into a bad guy."