Paul Buck

LIBRARY contains four essays and two interviews, with the pre-dominant concern of sexual questions: the subjects in art, film, and literature—the issues tied to Rivette’s La Belle Noiseuse, Madonna’s sexual assault in Dangerous Game, Clunie Reid’s use of language, Richard Prince’s obsession with books, and Paul Meyersberg’s articulation about sex.

‘Like Carol Reed’s crippled trapeze artist now devoted to sensuality, Paul Buck is more than a suitable case for treatment. A personable deviant, Buck’s culpable, desiring proximity steeps these writings, inasmuch as they are apostrophised by his appearance in cameo, inside and outside the text. Buck stalks his work, addressing us in collusive asides. Rather than the disinterest of resistable objectivity, Buck’s criticism is moved by a profound personal investment in his subjects; he does not elide his complicity, nor does he quiet moral considerations. Discussing Richard Prince’s library or Madonna’s instrumentality, Buck makes the possessive, accountable case throughout. His underlying subject is the snarl of art and life, and the perils that abound in their confusion in the personal and their forced dichotomy in culture at large. Art, for Buck, cannot be an apology for the failures of experience, but instead is a compulsive and risky exposure, like a heretical grace, modelling life for our benefit.’
-> Ed Atkins

‘Translator, poet, collagist, archivist, novelist, and all-around intellectual impresario, Paul Buck has a formidable knowledge of culture that he shines like a laser in LIBRARY on Richard Prince, Madonna, Abel Ferrera, and the erotics of painting and representation.  He approaches the critical essay like a crime scene investigation. LIBRARY is a fantastic read’.
-> Chris Kraus

‘These writings by Paul Buck with all their joyful refusals, radical and playful, work on each other at a pace that opens up to writers, artists, and filmmakers. This is a luminous book, as Gertrude Stein’s writing is luminous, casting its glow with and on the act of writing. Buck is a writer, poet, performer, and publisher who asks how to approach, look, make, write, or even listen to the writer writing, asking what constrains, what puts art before us or does not, as well as admitting the slide into critique or the sheer fury and disgust when the risk of art encounters its institutions.  What impresses is Buck’s oblique approach to keeping the reader open to the nature of what the subject might be.  We hear him through the rhythms of his writing; it is impure—and it is a pleasure.’
-> Denise Robinson

Paul Buck has been writing and publishing since the late sixties; key titles include Violations, Lust, Walking into Myself… His work is characterised by its sabotaging of the various forms in order to explore their overlaps and differences. Through the seventies he also edited the seminal magazine Curtains, with its focus on bringing French writing from Bataille, Blanchot, Jabès, Faye, Noël, Ronat, Collobert, and a score of others into a weave with English and American writers and artists. While editing and translating are still a daily activity—in partnership with Catherine Petit, the Vauxhall&Company series of books at Cabinet Gallery is their responsibility—he also continues to cover new ground: Spread Wide, a fiction generated from his letters with Kathy Acker; Performance, a biography of the Cammell/Roeg film; Lisbon, a cultural view of a city; A Public Intimacy, strip-searching scrapbooks to expose autobiography; Disappearing Curtains, an exhibition catalogue that collides with a ‘journal’. Further ventures through textual issues around transgression, perversity, and intimacy to appear are: Recollection & Misunderstanding, a text sequence; Indiscretions (& Nakedness), a set of prose narratives; Without You, a fiction that voyages through film essay; and Along the River Run, a psychological wrench set on the waterfront at Lisbon. He still believes there is time to get down to real business, still time to go forward and beyond.

128 pages
205 mm x 140 mm
ISBN 978-1-910055-43-4

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