Ackerism. I New York fra oktober 1989 til maj 1990 taler Kathy Acker med Sylvère Lotringer. Disse samtaler skal blive til det 24-sider lange interview som åbner "Hannibal Lecter, my father", Acker-udgivelsen i Native Agent-serien på Lotringers forlag Semiotext(e) -- Det et er både kedeligt og uinteressant at tale om hvem der kom først, men et faktum er det at Ackers biografisk-konceptuelle metode - inspireret af 70-80-tals konceptualister som David Antin, Sol LeWitt og Sherrie Levine - nu ses overalt i litteraturen, senest i Bret Easton Ellis' nye roman Lunar Park som jeg glæder mig til at læse idag, men også fx Börjel og Bergvall nærmer sig på forskellige måder. Hér et par klip fra interviewet med Acker:
Acker: (...) David Antin said to me, There's one magazine of prose work that you could publish in that's in the poetry world - Carol Berger's magazine. So I sent her some material and she sent back the usual note, Oh great stuff, lots of energy, send more. So I'm babysitting one night for David and Eleanor Antin and I see this letter on the floor. I see my name so, of course, I read the letter and it's from Carol Berger's saying, This woman is a total nutcase, lock her up in the loony-bin, thinking that these stories were all about me. It was very hard, I was very very sensitive in those days, but I remember being very fascinated that the work had had that kind of power.
Lotringer: It was a pretty schitzy experience.
Acker: I became very interested in the model of schizophrenia. I wanted to explore the use of the word I, that's the only thing I wanted to do. So I placed very direct autobiographical, just diary material, right next to fake diary material. I tried to figure out who I wasn't and I went to texts of murderesses. I just changed them into first person, really not caring if the writing was good or bad, and put the fake first person next to the true first person. And then continue this to see what would happen. I used pre-Freudian texts because I didn't want to deal with Freudian jargon. It was a very naive experiment at first. I was experimenting about identity in terms of language. That's how I started out.
Senere lyder det, ud fra det faktum at der blev en retsag ud af Ackers tyveri fra trivialforfatteren Harold Robbins:
Lotringer: ... pirate someone else's text! Or rather hijack it, which is the etymology. Hijacking a copyright, no wonder they got upset. Terrorism in litterature ...
Acker: What a writer does, in 19th century terms, is that (s)he takes a certain amount of experience and (s)he "represents" that material. What I'm doing is simply taking text to be the same as the world, to be equal to non-text, in fact to be more real than non-text, and start representing text. So it's quite clear, I took the Harold Robbins and represented it. I didn't copy it. I didn't say it was mine.
Lotringer: You used it as "material", as Heiner Müller did with Medea. Or reframed it, as Sherrie Levine or Richard Prince did with classical photographs.
Acker: Right, and it seems to me quite a different procedure than the act of plagiarism. I had changed the words, I had changed intentionality. (...)