Thursday, October 28, 2021

Biographies / Dennis Cooper

Dennis Cooper

Dennis Cooper


"It’s a stylized version of a really boring world where nothing ever happens. There’s no momentum in the book at all except for the meeting of these different people. Just like a drift … like drifting. The characters are in school. I have them in school because it’s a set pattern of school-home, school-home, and sleep. A kind of mechanical going back and forth. The characters are always trying to overcome the banality and terror of the world they live in by constructing some sort of mental world, the main character, George especially. Disneyland is his idea of what perfection is, a place where everything, every emotion is stylized in order to be entertaining. Nothing really hurts, nothing’s really scary, and everything’s fed into you. The drugs he takes function in the same way. It’s as though these characters—even the murderers—are each trying to transcend a life in which nothing happens. All of them are trying to discover some kind of sensation. They’re attempting to find it in all these different ways; they link together because they see in each other the opportunity to feel something. I tried to construct the book so that it had a blankness, like you said, but there is also a … compression. The characters are trying to force something into their lives by doing these extreme things … criminal and perverse. And the way I made the book, in a kind of overly rigorous structure, for example, in stanzaic paragraphs that are always the same length, is an attempt to force some sort of beauty and rigor into their world."

Dennis Cooper on Closer

Dennis Cooper, 1989
Photo by James Hamilton

Poet, novelist, and short story writer Dennis Cooper was born in Pasadena, California. He grew up in Southern California and was educated at Pasadena City College and Pitzer College. Cooper’s early influences include French avant-garde poetry and novels and the films of Robert Bresson. In his work, he engages the limits of the body, and of speech, in response to the pressure of desire. In a 2011 Paris Review interview with Ira Silverberg, Cooper stated, “I’m as interested by what sex can’t give you as by what it can. I don’t see lust as a dumbing-down process. Most people fear confusion, but I think confusion is the truth and I seek it out. … My goal is to try to articulate what my characters wish to express during sex but can’t and to depict the way language is compromised by sex, as realistically as I can.”
Dennis Cooper - Interview for Hilda Magazine


His poetry collections include The Dream Police: Selected Poems 1969-1993 (1995) and The Weaklings (2008). He is the author of numerous books of prose, including the novels Frisk (1991, one of five novels making up the George Miles Cycle), The Sluts (2005), and The Marbled Swarm (2011); the short story collections Wrong (1992) and Ugly Man (2009); the nonfiction volumes All Ears: Criticism, Essays, and Obituaries (1999) and Smothered in Hugs: Essays, Interviews, Feedback, and Obituaries (2010); and the collaborative projects Dennis: Story-Song (2006, with Don Waters and various artists) and Jerk/Through Their Tears (2011, with Gisele Vienne, Peter Rehberg, and Jonathan Capdevielle).

Dennis Cooper Interviewed in Paris (American Suburb X exclusive)
In 1976, Cooper founded Little Caesar Magazine and in 1978, Little Caesar Press. From 1979 to 1983, he served as director of programming for the Beyond Baroque Literary Arts Center in Venice Beach, California. He has served as the editor of the Little House on the Bowery series for Akashic Books.
Cooper was the first American writer to be awarded France’s Prix Sade. He lives in Los Angeles and Paris.


Dennis Cooper / Chaperos / Sadomasoquismo internauta
Dennis Cooper / Todos los males, el mal
Dennis Cooper / El creep entre nosotros
Dennis Cooper / “Si pudiese sintetizar lo que hago en un Tweet, no seguiría escribiendo novelas”
Dennis Cooper / Chaperos / Prólogo de Juan Bonilla
Dennis Cooper / El ‘escritor más peligroso de los EE UU’ publica una novela con gifs animados
Google rapta la nueva novela de Dennis Cooper
Dennis Cooper / Lo peor

Dennis Cooper / El muerto
Dennis Cooper / Niña
Dennis Cooper / Hacha
Dennis Cooper / El cerdo

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