February 2011

Kimberly Wine

Past Perfect

CUNTIONARY / Repent at Your Leisure (or The Folklore of Hell) by Benjamin L. Perez

Benjamin Perez’s bi-textual “ur-cunt,” CUNTIONARY / Repent at your Leisure (or The Folklore of Hell), is a femanifesto on PCP. The thin volume of lexicography, folk tales, and poetry provides a historiography of the cultural boundaries of biblical language and the paradox of religious belief in post-Enlightenment western culture with an intensity that defies this reviewer’s power to adequately describe. It is also impossible to generically define. It is both a treatise on language and a poetic plea for all of us to more closely (re)examine the complicated relationship between language and thought.

At its core, CUNTIONARY is a poetic tapestry threaded through with an unrepentant and torrential indictment of Abrahamic religious doctrine for its conceptual contribution to the lapsarian status of women in the western world. The lexicon of “cunt” is filled with retold fairy tales, a reconstructed mythology of the war in heaven (which is itself a powerful metaphor), a contextual analysis of western philosophy, and a Barthesian reclamation of the power of the word to define the world. In what can only be described as a direct refusal of Western traditional cultural structures and beliefs, Perez challenges modern Western notions of a rationally ordered universe, described and narrated by logical discourse. In a quest for a new way to validate his own vision, Perez sets out to establish an alternative representational order, thereby creating a new dialogue with reality and, more importantly, (re)imagining a possible future outside of the traditional cultural construct. However, he seems also to suggest that it is only through the use of language that we are able to transgress those narrative frames.

Reminiscent of Luther’s theses, the so-called “Great Notice” was composed in secrecy and simply appeared one day “tacked or nailed” to every church, bank, and city hall. The text posits a revolutionary philosophical vision that promises to be as powerful and controversial as the Protestant Reformation.

Like his first publication, The Evil Queen: A Pornolexicology, Perez's most recent book is both blasphemous and unapologetic in its rhetorical interrogation of religious conviction. CUNTIONARY openly challenges the assumptions of Western religious indoctrination and misogyny while also explicitly examining the cultural baggage encapsulated within a Madonna/Whore mythos. Perez entreats his readers to question their own ideological contributions to the cycle of sexual repression and silent complicity in legitimating violence against women. This text is not for the faint of heart; however, it is recommended for anyone who is prepared to fearlessly deconstruct his or her own ideological assumptions about the way language influences the construction of the world around us.

CUNTIONARY / Repent at Your Leisure (or The Folklore of Hell) by Benjamin L. Perez
ISBN: 1935402641
50 Pages