Philosophy for Spiders - On the Low Theory of Kathy Acker Book

Philosophy for Spiders - On the Low Theory of Kathy Acker Book

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It's time to recognise Kathy Acker as one of the great postwar American writers. Over the decades readers have found a punk Acker, a feminist Acker, a queer Acker, a kink Acker, and an avant-garde Acker.

In Philosophy for Spiders, McKenzie Wark adds a trans Acker. Wark recounts her memories of Acker (with whom she had a passionate affair) and gives a comprehensive reading of her published and archived works.

Wark finds not just an inventive writer of fiction who pressed against the boundaries of gender, but a theorist whose comprehensive philosophy of life brings a conceptual intelligence to the everyday life of those usually excluded from philosophy's purview.

As Wark shows, Acker's engagement with topics such as masturbation, sadism, body-building, and penetrative sex are central to her distinct phenomenology of the body that theorises the body's relation to others, the city, and technology.

"Wark has written a study that not only luxuriates in her brief, passionate love affair with Acker but also attempts to burnish her legacy through a contemporary recontextualisation of her work, including a trans reading of Acker's writings, exploring the ways her fictions abjured gender binaries or even the assumption that her voice emanated from a cis woman. . . . Through Wark's rereading, Acker is transformed from provocateur porn writer, punk poet, and literary theorist to someone much more resonant: a vulnerable Acker shed of her leather jacket, of her sometimes-bratty persona."
Alyse Burnside "The Nation" (1/13/2022 12:00:00 AM)

"McKenzie Wark's highly personal sex memoir evolves the growing 'My Kathy' genre in trans directions. This impassioned, reasonable, and subjective tribute makes more room for Kathy to live on as the future's own creations."
Sarah Schulman, author of "Let the Record Show: A Political History of ACT UP New York, 1987-1993"

"In this brilliant reading of one of the late twentieth century's most interesting writers, language 'messes with flesh' while 'logic messes with language, ' transmuting Kathy Acker's sign-worlds into philosophy. I love the fearless way in which McKenzie Wark thinks. I also love the calm voice with which she walks herself (and us) through difficult spaces in theory and memory. Exploring how gender structures writing in ways related to, but ultimately different from, the norms that structure heterosexuality, Philosophy for Spiders radically expands the field of trans girl lit."
Sianne Ngai, author of "Theory of the Gimmick: Aesthetic Judgment and Capitalist Form"

Author Mckenzie Wark
Format Paperback
ISBN 9781478014683


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