Of making many books there is no end

Sources to the Channa book

Dear impressively diligent reader and friend,

Over the past three years of incubating/collecting/building up, I read a number of things that really struck me deeply, and their influences on my life shaped the experiences and thoughts that I then drew from in my writing. Some of these I drew from more directly than others, like:

The letter from Sol Lewitt to Eva Hesse (available as a scanned PDF here)

This mind-blowing poem by Adrienne Rich

I Love Dick by Chris Kraus

Some not quite as direct:

The LACMA’s Collection Online website, which has an extremely useful and thorough account of the Art & Technology Program. In fact the entire catalog with its much-discussed cover is available for download as a PDF. I highly recommend exploring this site if you are interested in the history of LA art, or, more generally, in the intersections of art + social inequality. The Introduction, written by Senior Curatorial Fellow Howard Fox, confirms Channa’s apocryphal-seeming claim that the feminist backlash centered around her proposal, which is kinda cool and  affirming.

Also, I quoted this awesome book by bell hooks, which has def influenced me as a budding teacher (thanks to Peter for giving it to me).

Here’s Jack Goldstein and the CalArts Mafia, which is a sick read (thanks Channa for having it on your bookshelf at 1am). and here’s Undoing Gender (thanks Eugene Public Library). and here’s a probably copyright-violating PDF of Cixous’ badass Laugh of the Medusa.

OK BUT:

My most important sources were probably the ones that were never actually mentioned. Here is where I say that over the past two years, the writers who have influenced me most were on writing on the internet, and that they are the writer Dear Sugar and the writer Sady Doyle. Here are the things they wrote that I would venture to say changed my life (“god it sounds cheesy when I say that”):

Dear Sugar: Write Like a Motherfucker (see: humility), The Obliterated Place (duh), and The Truth That Lives There (check out the date on that one– it was written with spookily uncanny timing in relation to my own realization of having to separate, as documented in the Channa book). I highly recommend everything in this freaking column if you are interested in getting real, and I can’t really imagine having done this writing without having first read her. She does this shit with profound generosity and that is exactly how everything ought to get done.

Sady Doyle: Sady Doyle instigated my Feminist* Awakening, which was well-timed, seeing as though for months on end in Virginia I had no close friends, a host of lonely boredom mixed with a lot of un-learning to do, and ample access to the internet. This essay about the poet Diane DiPrima and this essay about, all things, I Love Dick are the two that I keep, keep, keep keep keep going back to. When I think about the hours I spent reading her, it makes sense that I made no art for a year. I needed to have these revelations instead. (Google “Freddie’s Boners” if you’re interested in more of her writing– huge deal for me at age 23)

bonus– Recently I read this blog by the writer Saeed Jones which I loved big time and which arrived at the exact moment I needed it to. The image of Nina Simone urgently building a futile gun-object is incredibly powerful. (Exploring his writing was what led me to The Soul of the Dead by Hélène Cixous.)

Thank you to these writers for giving me so much, and thank you to YOU for reading. ❤

love,

jaymee

*feminist as an initial conduit to other forms of social justice/political consciousness and the struggles of others whose experiences I don’t share. I cannot morally justify stopping at the problems of ladies (i.e. white middle-class straight girly ladies like myself), because as I wrote: “none of this shit can be separated” (I think it went something like that in the book).

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