DOGGY BAG ~
Book review and technical detail DOGGY BAG ~ Ronald Sukenick
|Technical detail of DOGGY BAG ~|
|Title||DOGGY BAG ~|
|Category||Fiction & Literature|
|Publisher||Fiction Collective 2|
|Publishing Date||1st January, 1970|
A tedious story of academic boredom that shows why postmodernist fiction at its worst deserves its disparaging popular and critical reception. Set in various museums of Europe and the imagination, Sukenick's tale takes modernity to task for its insipid and meaningless attempts at continuing its existence. The first chapter of this postmodern ``Wasteland'' has comic and literary appeal, featuring a continually growing line of wacky tourists having wacky conversations during an interminable wait for Florence's Uffizi Gallery to open. Sukenick, however, never again gets close to the humor and imagination he displays in that scene as the story becomes an extended reflection on how and why literature and culture have become less than nothing to get excited about. The author chooses a set of artsy companions for the journey--Henry James, T.S. Eliot, D.H. Lawrence, and Federico Fellini--as he announces again and again that the rubble of the culture through which they sifted has become as banal, boring, and tasteless as cold mashed potatoes. The author excuses himself at the end of the book by saying that he writes as he does ``because it's a way of saying [the] whole system is bullshit.'' However true that sentiment may be, the haughty air of superiority with which he looks down on his readers indicates that Sukenick has lost sight of just how limited his own perspective is. The self-referential academic settings and characters are a sign of a once interesting author who needs to get out of the office and the museum once in a while. The rancid leftovers in this Doggy Bag are best left under wraps.
Doggy Bag is an outrageous Avant-Pop answer to T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land." Don't waste anything: recycle it, cut it up and snarf it down like a Naked Lunch. Doggy Bag is a net of hyperfictions about Americans in a spiritually exhausted Europe forced to recycle the trash of their own culture. Under the dictatorship of the consumer, ecology is freedom. Written in a person to person and often interactive style, Doggy Bag samples advertising, the entertainment industry and B-movie versions of ancient mythologies, splices in cryptograms, wierd graphic designs, humans infected with a computer virus, conspiracy projection studios, neural image fabrication by Total Control, Inc., and gives you characters like Jim Morrison, Federico Fellini, a bird named Edgar Allan Crow, a secret sect of White Voodoo Financial Wizards, the Iron Sphincters, and Bruno the sex dog. Hard core Porno, Doggy Bag surfs simulacra the way Kerouac cruised the Great American Highway. Recommended for punks, hackers, slackers, rappers, sex fiends, skate rats, metal mainiacs, troublemakers, pleasure junkies, buttonheads, disaffected students and other rabble addicted to good writing.
Reviews of DOGGY BAG ~ written by Ronald Sukenick. You can submit your own review to firstname.lastname@example.org. Suggestions be welcome.