Monday, August 28, 2017

Louisiana Literature har på deres Facebook-væg publiceret Chris Kraus' svar til Mette Høeg som også er sendt til Berlingske.

To the editors:

I’m grateful to Mette Høeg for her thoughtful and positive review of my book, 'After Kathy Acker'. But I’m perplexed as to why her praise of my work must come at the expense of Emma Holten, and the young women who are the book’s potential readers.

Holten wrote an excellent, clear and accessible afterword for my book ‘I Love Dick’, recently published in Danish by Gyldendal, that Høeg inexplicably finds “conceptually tone-deaf” and “literarily unfit.” Since Holten knows my work well, the Louisiana Literature festival asked her to be my conversant yesterday at the festival. Following Holten’s well-prepared questions, our conversation – staged for an audience of general readers – ranged from Bertholt Brecht to the French anarchist group Tiqqun to phenomenology and spectacle. As demonstrated in her own work concerning notions of image and selfhood and internet privacy, Holten has a gift for making difficult concepts appealing and accessible to large numbers of people.

As a writer, I’ve had the unusual and exhilarating experience of seeing a book that I wrote twenty years ago for a very small, New York art-world and intellectual audience, revived by a new generation of readers, adapted for television and translated into more than a dozen languages. This revival occurred because of the book’s popularity among young women who identify themselves as feminists. If I’ve learned anything through this revival, and meetings with ‘I Love Dick’s new readers, it’s that there is a multiplicity of feminisms. Those who take an interest in stereotypically ‘female’ concerns such as sexuality, the search for a mate, and overcoming self-doubt – concerns that are fundamentally human, although they have long been relegated to the ‘female’ ghetto – do not necessarily do so at the expense of more ‘noble’ macro-politics. The young women I’ve met while touring this book are hardly “bland, beach-ball feminists,” as Høeg unfairly describes Holten.

‘I Love Dick’ ranges across the worlds of philosophy, politics, art history and critical theory. Growing up in a working class community in the US, little was expected of me beyond attending community college. I wrote ‘I Love Dick’ to young women of similar backgrounds, making sure that the language was clear enough to be understood by anyone with an interest in doing so. The greatest pleasure in touring the book has been meeting young women readers whose copies of ‘I Love Dick’ are heavily annotated with notes, markers and post-its.

Since at least the era of second-wave feminism, media has always loved staging a ‘catfight,’ in which one prominent woman attacks another for the gratification of a largely male audience. It seems somewhat irresponsible to me that a respected newspaper like Berlingske would publish an incendiary and unfounded attack on a third writer under the guise of a book review.

Thank you for your consideration,
Chris Kraus