Tuesday, May 19, 2015
Dennis Cooper's Haunted HTML Novel
Dennis Cooper's latest book, Zac’s Haunted House, was released online in mid-January by the Paris-based small press and label Kiddiepunk. Dubbed an “html novel” and offered as a free download, it consists of seven html files, each of which expands into a long, vertical scroll of animated gifs. You could call Zac’s Haunted House many things: net art, a glorified Tumblr, a visual novel, a mood board, or a dark night of the Internet's soul. It has just a few words—the chapter titles and a few subtitles embedded in some of the gifs—but it still very clearly belongs to Cooper’s own haunted oeuvre, capable of evoking powerful and gnarled emotions. Although it is something of an about-face from his last novel, The Marbled Swarm—with that book’s intentionally contrived, digressive language—Zac’s Haunted House still displays Cooper’s obsessive attention to form and style. It also features his by now nearly classical imagery and interests: The vulnerable young male body juxtaposed with death and failure; charged use of subcultural vernacular; and confused bodies, to say nothing of identities, fumbling through sex and subterfuge. Cooper has always written characters whose ineloquence hints at experiences that defy language; now, telling a story almost exclusively in images, he pushes this inarticulateness in a new direction. The result is surprisingly eloquent, and accurately speaks to our experience of the present, online and IRL.
Posted by Morgan Meis at 08:27 AM | Permalink