The Life Work
of Kathy Acker
Edited by Michael Hardin
FROM THE INTRODUCTION BY MICHAEL HARDIN...
In April 1996, I organized a
conference at which Kathy Acker was the keynote speaker,1 but could not
imagine how to introduce such a complex writer and artist, and so I delegated
that responsibility; now, however, I do not have such a luxury. I had met
Kathy before, but it was while she was at this conference that she received
the news that her biopsy had come back positive for breast cancer. Thus,
when I heard on Monday, December 1, 1997 that she had died the day before,
I felt a great loss. I was shocked-I knew she was a fighter and if anyone
could beat cancer, she could-but at the same time, I had not heard from
her since August. A few days later, I was informed of the news by the executor
of her estate, so I asked how Kathy would have wanted to be remembered,
thinking a memorial event in Houston might be nice, but he said, "keep
her work alive." That was the germination for this collection, and I can
happily state that since then, most of her work has come back into print,
Grove released two new collections in fall 2002-The Essential Acker: The
Selected Writings of Kathy Acker and Rip-off Red, Girl Detective and The
Burning Bombing of America-and NYU sponsored a conference on Kathy Acker
in November, 2002. However, there remains a dearth of critical articles
and books on her work, and her fiction is not taught as often as one might
expect, given its relevance to contemporary literature and theory. To that
end, Devouring Institutions is meant to be an introduction to Kathy Acker,
with its essays being merely thirteen ways of looking at one of the most
innovative, controversial, and difficult of American writers...
an interview on ACKER
the editor of DEVOURING INSTITUTIONS,
Table of Contents
Kathy Acker: An Introduction
Writing between Madness
"The Madness Outside Gender:
Travels with Don Quixote and Saint Foucault."
Washington State University-Vancouver
"Kathy Acker and Literary
Madness: Erecting a Pornographic Shell."
"The Paralyzing Tensions
of Radical Art in a Postmodern World: Kathy Acker's Last Novels as Exploratory
Arts Advocacy Project,
National Coalition Against Censorship
Building the Body of Desires
"Re-Educating the Body:
Kathy Acker, Georges Bataille, and the Postmodern Body in My Mother: Demonology."
Idaho State University
"Too Much Is Never Enough:
A Kaleidoscopic Approach to the Work of Kathy Acker."
Long Beach State University
"The Lay of the Land:
Piracy and the Iterant Body in Kathy Acker's Pussy, King of the Pirates."
"Between Theory and Autobiography:
Negotiating Desire, Sex, and Love in the Work of Kathy Acker."
"Residues or Revolutions
of the Language of Acker and Artaud."
Wayne State University
"Words Hurt! Acker's Appropriation
of Myth in Don Quixote."
Delaware Valley College
"Kathy Acker's Radical
Performance Writing in Eurydice in the Underworld and Other Texts."
University of Alberta
Pussy, King of the Pirates and a Feminist Critique of Intellectual Property."
"Voice, Politics, Copyright."
Nicole CooleyQueens College
"Scavenging the E-Wreck:
Kathy Acker, the Internet, and Artis Electronica."
Idaho State University.
A Primary and Secondary