At Fanzine, Felix Bernstein and Vanessa Place discuss “the current state of internal literary warfare, especially around questions of power and authority, such as Marxism and rape.”
It may be our favorite Vanessa Place interview, like, ever, except for our own. Choice excerpts include
More to the point of my finger-pointing, the ecstasy sought by the social media hysteric is mass hysteria, which is the point at which the return of the repressed is most manifest. Thus the trigger warning, thus the sobriety pledge, thus the daily parade of outrage and ambition: all we are are our symptoms, and we do love our symptomology….
[I]t’s a stupid aesthetic strategy[,…] the coterie defense, the argument that a work must be ethically sound because the artist is queer, or progressive, or a good communard. If the work is ethically compromised or complex, so be it. The character of the artist or author is irrelevant. The danger to me is not that there is art that is morally contemptible, but rather that all of us—artist and audience—want to be absolved of our own complicity in its generation beforehand and in its wake. We need to stop being such pussies.