Sunday, September 2, 2012
IF YOU WON'T READ, THEN WHY SHOULD I WRITE by Jarett Kobek
The unguarded moments of famous people, where normally it is always guarded. Sex tapes are fascinating, in that the participants used them for future reference or is it the thought of being recorded while doing something nasty is the appeal? Or losing control and being totally exposed beyond one's control? Jarrett Kobek, in sort of 'just the facts man' style captures the undocumented 'recorded' moments of conversation or more like it - snippets of dialogue between individuals.
The first book I thought of while reading this was Burrough's "The Last Words of Dutch Schultz," which was inspired by the actual recording of Schultz as he was dying from a gunshot wound. His statement to the police is both lucid as well as fancy -free as his mind wondered. Probably the closest relationship between a crime figure and hardcore Surrealism. Kobek's book reads the same way. Its a fascinating document but also an interesting way to look at a culture as it is being recorded. What Kobek did was put it in a context, that says a lot about celebrities and the role they play in our culture.
The range here is quite large, from Paris Hilton to Tom Sizemore to Muammar Gaddafi. The issue of privacy seems to be an antiquity thought these days. A wonderful book with a beautiful production by its press, Penny-Ante Editions.