Ten Books That Slouch Toward the Total Pain of Desire

Ten Books That Slouch Toward the Total Pain of Desire

My favorite , to read and to make, is the abjection of desire. In books, I want sex that's needy, greedy, lonely, pathetically succumbent to the allness of nothingness, sad, icky, and bad. I want all the ways that fucking can be fucked up. Many standards of this sort—Kathy Acker, Samuel R. Delaney, Mary Gaitskill, Dennis Cooper—aroused the writing of my own , Your Love Is Not Good . My novel is about an artist who wants to belong but, because she's an artist, she doesn't. It's about the parasitism of desire, where the boundaries of a self are marked, if they exist at all. It's about power, which means it's about not having power. It's about sex, money, and clothes, which means it's about how ethics are performed under capitalism. It has a lot of kink, which means it's about revulsion, which means it's about beauty. Below is a list of the books full of desire that slyly seeped into the blood of my book and have stayed there since. They are less about the brutality of abject sex and more about the dejected surrender of very wet want and all the different ways we yield to it. * Y/N by Esther Yi Everything about this debut novel is a fuck yes. My favorite moment is when an avatar of the protagonist approaches the object of her desire in disguise and says: “I already know I would endure unjustifiable pain for you.” To which he replies, “Then let's do something together.” A Heart So White by Javier Marias This book wrecked my heart, and sometimes I would try and definitely fail to make my novel get close to what Marias did. The scene where the protagonist's friend requests that he film her genitals so she can send the VHS tape to someone she's met through a mail-dating service, and he does with gentle attention and care, is devastating. Corregidora by Gayl Jones A perfect, brutal universe of a novel that made me feel repulsed both by sex itself and how we still need it even when it's […]

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