Lydia Lunch has always been known for her dry humorous raunchy and raw approach to channelling her alchemy, i.e. spoken-word and performance art, fuelled by anger and outrage. Defiant in tone and style, So Real It Hurts meanders between anecdotes, intimate accounts of events to witty and sharp observations of social phenomena. Apart from personal revelations, the book is particularly interesting when light is shed on the relationship with Hubert Selby Jr and other protagonists, her account on the history of No Wave and her empowering rallying for the causes of taboo-busting feminism.
Lunch’s elaborations are fierce, explosive, revelatory and gripping and infused with urgency, specifically when it comes topics like environmentalism, consumerism and other social failures.
In essence, So Real It Hurts, is an anthology, which had previously been rejected by close to thirty publishers as it proudly states on the cover, of new and established writings show no sign of Lydia Lunch dimming her flame, and with an introduction by Anthony Bourdain it is framed in a suitable context with the common denominator between being their appreciation of food and cooking, as her name suggests.
Great to have Lydia’s essays available in book form as most of what I had from Lydia were her diatribes from the days of her contributing to Forced Exposure magazine. An empowering and unflinching book with relevance especially for those without a voice who refused to be victims.
Seven Stories’ Miles & Me: Miles Davis, the man, the musician, and his friendship with the journalist and poet Quincy Troupe is a nice counterpoint to Lydia Lunch in that is portrays a more subtle, less boisterous yet still provocative man and the way he went about his art with music and poetry until his untimely departure in 1991.
I quite enjoyed how both Miles’ acute approach and his idiosyncratic vision is portrayed as well as his fragility and the solitude and loneliness that fuelled and impaired his genius. The book is testament to Miles being an accomplished poet in the realm of music and a skilful musical poet, which formed a unique melange that is highlighted by the author’s insights.
A warm and intriguing memoir based on Quincy Troupe’s experiences, a professor of literature at the University of California San Diego and accomplished author, and his friendship with Miles Davis.
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