Enter at Your
Own Risk:

The Dangerous Art
of Dennis Cooper

Edited by Leora Lev

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 faultlines 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;

(Continued on back flap)

(Continued from front flap)

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 contri-butions by legendary film iconoclast John Waters, Pulitzer Prize winner Michael Cunningham, luminaries Matthew Stadler, Robert Glück, Kevin Killian, Dodie Bellamy, Earl Jackson, Jr., Elizabeth Young, and other innovative writers. It will appeal to readers interested in intersections between transgressive literature and arts, avant-garde aesthetics, popular culture, queer fiction, neo-gothic subcultures, cinema, cyber-space, and absinthe-tinctured French odes to desire.

About the Editor

Leora Lev is an Associate Professor at Bridgewater State College. She received her PhD in Romance Languages from Harvard. She has written essays on Spanish fiction, film, and culture and American avant-garde fiction, as well as journalism. Her essay on Matador appeared in Post-Franco, Postmodern: The Films of Pedro Almodóvar, and she has published work in Spanish Writers on Gay and Lesbian Themes: A Bio-Critical Sourcebook, Film Quarterly, American Book Review, Journal of the History of Sexuality, Revista de Estudios Hispánicos, the Boston Phoenix, and other publications. She lives in Boston.

LC 2005023174
ISBN 0-8386-4088-5
Printed in the U.S.A.

Jacket illustration: Dennis Cooper, by Robert Giard. Photo courtesy of Jonathan Silin.

Advance Praise for Enter at Your Own Risk

“Dennis Cooper’s sublime novels, poems, and stories have long been misunderstood and underexposed. Now Leora Lev has compiled a long overdue collection of essays—all written by an amazing bunch of Cooper’s contemporary novelists and critics—that show the writer as he truly is: one of the planet’s most original, devastating, visionary, and crucial literary icons. Enter at Your Own Risk is a knockout book.”
--Scott Heim,
Author of Mysterious Skin (made into a 2005 film by Gregg Araki), In Awe, and We Disappear

Contributors: James Annesley, Dodie Bellamy, Lawrence Brose, William S. Burroughs (edited by James Grauerholz), Michael Cunningham, Robert Glück, Earl Jackson, Jr., Kevin Killian, Leora Lev, Matthew Stadler, Brandon Stosuy, Marvin Taylor, John Waters, and Elizabeth Young

Fairleigh Dickinson University Press

On the Web at http://www.fdu.edu/newspubs/fdupress.html





Symposium in Cork, Ireland

Sponsored by University College Cork and the Granary Theater

April 8, 2006

ON: Dennis Cooper