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Beauty Talk & Monsters (Semiotext(e) / Native Agents) Paperback – May 25, 2007
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"Beauty Talk is in part a meditation on the symbiotic pleasures and impositions of intellectual exile--at once an indictment and a celebration--a poetic expression of voluntary solitude which questions what it means to hole up inside yourself, to resist the roles you've been assigned and the thoughts you're conditioned to accept as your own, and to willfully separate from the disappointment of other people without losing your engagement in and appraisal of the world around you... The one thin line Tupitsyn maintains is that between on-screen and off-screen. Pop culture is subject, theme, character, and plot in her work, which takes American media as a narrative foundation." -- Brian Pera, Fanzine "In her debut collection, Masha Tupitsyn is at her best when recalling emotional disaster, and when she aligns herself to this end, with strategies of Kathy Acker and Chris Kraus." -- Jeanine Herman, BOMB
"The experience of reading Beauty Talk & Monsters is humid, intimate, and juicy; like spying through a window at a neighbor's television set, it provides both the voyeuristic pleasure of watching a stranger's activity and the familiar flicker of a well-known film, now playing in a stranger's psyche." -- Michelle Tea, San Francisco Bay Chronicle
"This stunning book is a reckoning with what it is to have been raised with the movies, to not be able to tell the difference anymore between what we've fantasized or dreamt of, what we've been frightened of, what may have been our own or no one's life." --Rebecca Brown, author of The End of Youth and The Haunted House
"Here is a festival of meaning! Masha Tupitsyn does not meditate on the movies--she reactivates them in an uproar of image, desire, and identification. Her stories are acts of discovery, written under the sign of Kathy Acker, ambitious for literature itself, the prose pitched high." --Robert Gluck, author of Jack the Modernist and Denny Smith
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I have never met Masha Tupitsyn, the young author of BEAUTY TALK AND MONSTERS, but somehow I feel like we're on the same wavelength, and her writing exudes a magnetic force that pulls in a reader, renders him helpless and sprawling on his back like one of the butterflies of her beloved Nabokov. From Tupitsyn we learn how the movies of the seventies, from MEAN STREETS and THE EXORCIST through JAWS and SUSPIRIA, shaped her consciousness, made her eternally receptive to a host of foreign influences, while eighties films, like TOP GUN, PRETTY IN PINK and DIRTY DANCING, gave her agency and allowed her to become her own sexual object. In places this book, a collection of essays, memoirs and stories, will remind you of an animated version of Nan Goldin's BALLAD OS SEXUAL DEPENDENCY, only it's not as druggy perhaps, for who needs heavy drugs when your mind jumps and quivers as Hitchcock's camera speeds down the sordid London alleys of 1972's FRENZY and melts with a reluctant empathy as poor Brenda Blaney, FRENZY's middle-aged matchmaker, meets her fate in a man she hardly knows? Though her stories are short on dialogue, and relying on a lot of "telling," her men and women are vivid creations, with minds of their own; you walk away from BEAUTY TALK feeling that Masha Tupitsyn has seen far too much of life and remembered everything worth relating in fiction.
She flits from city to city in search of--well, she admits she doesn't exactly know why.Read more ›