Hailed by The Guardian as “one of the most important chroniclers of the modern psyche,” Gary Indiana is the author of a darkly satirical trilogy set in Southern California during the late 1990s: Resentment,Depraved Indifference and Three Month Fever: The Andrew Cunanan Story. His 2008 novel Shanghai Gesture was praised by Bookforum as “structured delirium . . . an aesthete’s hallucinatory folktale.” He is also the author of two collections of essays, Utopia’s Debris and Let It Bleed. Indiana teaches philosophy and literature at the New School in New York City.
A Significant Loss
I’m not sure exactly when it became the automatic habit of dominant media to translate life itself into dollar figures as the first response to impending catastrophe, but as things stand, a significant loss of human life is invariably measured according to the resulting disrup- tion of the capitalist economic order. The news that “investors must pay attention” is our way of affirming that money is the same thing as oxygen, “not yet” the standard exercise in magical thinking that lets us pretend we are not already living beyond the fatal tipping point, in the depths of the fait accompli.
Plays, Short Fiction, Poems 1975–2010
Before publishing his celebrated first novel, Horse Crazy, in 1987, Gary Indiana wrote and directed twelve plays for an informal company whose performers included the painter Bill Rice, composer Evan Lurie, the poet George-Therese Dickenson, writer and film actress Cookie Mueller, Warhol superstar and painter Viva, writer Victoria Pedersen, singer/actress Sharon Niesp, photographer Allen Frame, the legendary Taylor Mead, novelist Larry Mitchell, and others. Performed at the Mudd Club, Club 57, The Performing Garage, and Bill Rice’s E. 3rd Street studio, Indiana’s plays offered a kind of community theater for New York’s underground.
This volume presents highlights of that repertoire, including Alligator Girls Go to College, The Roman Polanski Story, and Indiana’s script for Michel Auder’s videofilm A Coupla White Faggots Sitting Around Talking, accompanied by archival performance photographs and selections from Indiana’s contemporaneous journals and poems. These hilarious, incisive writings and scripts evoke a vivid and accurate portrait of writers and artists in the lower Manhattan of the 1980s—arguably America’s last avant-garde—and anticipates Indiana’s impressive subsequent literary career.