Empire of the Senseless

A Very Shaky Frame: Marxism and Kathy Acker’s Empire of the Senseless.

The Female Arab:

Physical and mental lust were eating out my body at the same time I knew there was only loneliness. The CIA had treated loneliness in that city and made the sun into a piece of ice. I decided either I can die or I have to refind emotion. . .

I left New York City the way one leaves a lover’s bed when one doesn’t give a damn about the person one’s just fucked and it’s 5:00 in the morning and the pavement’s crawling like a dead cat.

The Male Arab:

The USA has destroyed all that we call human life and substituted religion. This religion is the worship of money and blind faith in stupidity. . . .The USA has substituted learning how to be controlled and the rote memorization of facts for any education in living. Every aspect of the USA’s life is now fit for death. Fucking leads only to disease. The USA is a cancer on the flesh of reality. All Americans are born diseased and live writhing.

The Female Arab:

Peace to the dead and the death-bringers. Peace to my sick home, city of AIDS or the death of love. (Empire 168)

As evidenced in this selection, Kathy Acker’s Empire of the Senseless screams postmodernism with a blatant rejection of grammatical conventions and linear tradition and an impassioned engagement with...

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