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Dennis Cooper (1953 - )

Lifespan: 1953 -

Related: transgressive fiction - American literature - grotesque literature - cult fiction


Dennis Cooper (1953 - ) is a poet, writer and performance artist, most noted for transforming the visual/verbal aesthetic of punk into its written counterpart. His literary aspirations were explored early on and often took the form of imitations of Rimbaud, Verlaine, De Sade, and Baudelaire. He wrote poetry and stories in his early teens that explored scandalous and often extreme subjects. As a teenager, Cooper was an outsider and the leader of a group of poets, punks, stoners and writers. After high school he attended Pasadena City College and later Pitzer College where he encountered a poetry teacher who was to inspire him to pursue his writing outside of institutions of higher learning. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Cooper [Feb 2005]

Dennis Cooper and transgressive fiction

The [George Miles] quintet is one of the finest works from the "Transgressive Fiction" movement, a literary genre identified in 1993 by Los Angeles Times critic Michael Silverblatt. Alongside Cooper, the movement also includes David Sedaris, Scott Heim, Gary Indiana and Kevin Killian. Visual motifs include eye-catching covers, italicized texts and undersized formats. Atlantic Monthly journalist Anne H. Soukhanov gave this apt definition of "Transgressive Fiction," which could also describe Cooper's writing:

A literary genre that graphically explores such topics as incest and other aberrant sexual practices, mutilation, the sprouting of sexual organs in various places on the human body, urban violence and violence against women, drug use, and highly dysfunctional family relationships, and that is based on the premise that knowledge is to be found at the edge of experience and that the body is the site for gaining knowledge. -- Anne H. Soukhanov. "Word Watch." The Atlantic Monthly (December 1996): 128.
--http://www.disinfo.com/archive/pages/dossier/id848/pg1/ [Feb 2005]

Frisk (1996) - Todd Verow

Frisk (1996) - Todd Verow
[FR] [DE] [UK]

Plot Synopsis: A first person narrative of the exploits of a gay serial killer in deeply disturbing, controversial drama about violence, sexuality, and the imagination. Dennis, the main character, whose lead we follow on this path between what is real and what we can only hope is surreal. His friends attempt to determine if he's truly a psychopath. The story, is told in the form of a succession of ritual-like murders, comes to life through the letters he writes to his sometime lover and best friend Julian and the object of his desire, Julian's younger brother, Kevin. The film is set in an erotic world of sado-masochism and portrays the sexual appetites of a young man for whom killing and engorging the victim become the ultimate thrill.

See also: Dennis Cooper - 1996

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