This mysterious object of writing (I made a wish)

to meWith I made a wishDennis Cooper finds the character of the person who was the “center” or attraction of a cycle of five novels, and possibly his other books. George Miles is this young, teenage boy whom the author met in his youth and would one day kill himself. It is around him that Dennis Cooper, between the 1990s and 2000s, would write “The George Miles Cycle.” though, I made a wish Not an extra volume for this course nor some sort of explanation. The book is first and foremost a story in which desire and writing are expressed, a book that would call into question Dennis Cooper’s writing drive, which gives him life.

If George Miles were ubiquitous in I made a wishHe is no more a character than an attraction the book is organized around and unfolds. One cannot say that George Miles is in the book as a person – the book is not an autobiography, any more than an autobiography – not even as a character since he appeared there in the form of various and different avatars that follow each other through the chapters, the deities associated with the same first and last name, By recurring motifs (youth, beauty, Venice, the desire it inspires, etc.), and by the relationship another character, Denis’ character, speaks with each of them. Dennis Cooper himself indicates this fate of George Miles through his earlier work, whether it was evoked directly, or whether it fits the proliferation of a series, at the same time, of similarities and differences: I’ve always dreamed of reinventing George but only at that time in security which gave me writing, poems, bad news, and then novels, five, where I tried to sum it up, to make it more interesting, or half sane […]sometimes he keeps his name, sometimes other similar but more exciting bodies, other talents, different problems, and if you want you can find out how he gets away every time: George, David, Kevin, Ziggy, Robin, Chris, Drew, Sniff, Igor, dagger, george “.

George Miles is a noun, a set of adjectives, a series of singularities that fit together and rearrange themselves throughout the book without becoming fixed in a person or character, and a known and immutable identity. The depersonalization of these traits could refer to George Miles’ problematic psychological state, but it is primarily about writing and the type of “personality” involved.

if in I made a wishGeorge Miles is the object of desire, even the thing The Desire of Denis, this thing remains distant, strange, mysterious and inaccessible (” It was hard to tell, such a blackout “). One of the main themes in the book is love, but it is love that includes distance, ignorance of that love, alienation and the impossibility of that. The theme of unrequited love, even when there are sexual relations, is rejected according to the differences which, according to the seasons and moments, will insist on such Thus, the “characters” are physically far from each other, geographically or psychologically, and even existentially distant (Santa Claus and the children he talks to; a talking crater and a child he talks to…), and the feelings seem hardly mutual – it seems that distance and non-reciprocity are, in any case, the law of the relationship between beings. Despite the desire for love and reciprocity, the reality principle seems to indicate the distance at which the other never corresponds to this desire, and always remains the other, at a distance, and not Reducible to another and different place.

It is this eccentricity of George Miles that prevents him from becoming an identity, from becoming an incarnation, into a person. It appears according to a set of floating adjectives whose arrangement can only produce a continuous reconfiguration, sometimes in one state, sometimes in another, sometimes with respect to one face, sometimes with another face, etc. George Miles can’t be a character – and I made a wish It is written starting from the impossibility of the character, participating on the contrary in crafting animated forms, mismatched pairs, mismatched identities, which spread, appear and disappear to be repeated elsewhere and so on.

George Miles’ name could be an anagram for a smile (a smile; thus charm, love, seduction?), can express the idea of ​​pluralism (miles = miles), where you can evoke distance (miles = Tendency Plural). at I made a wishGeorge Miles is above all a floating symbol that passes through a series of avatars, situations and formations, none of which exhausts the meaning or possibilities of this signifier – George Miles remains strange, unknown and always nowhere other than where he is supposed to be. In the story, George Miles, due to the bipolarity of his psychosis, is already alien to himself, at least double: a distracted and multiple being, made up of adjacent pieces, sometimes silent and frozen, sometimes hyper-excited and gregarious. Dennis Cooper amplifies this dispersal of the person and makes it the principle of authorship of the book that became, in a sense, George Miles. The book can then only exist according to a general principle of dispersal, gaps, and differences, according to the movement of reconfiguration which is continually retracted, reconfigured elsewhere, or otherwise.

George Miles is the law of the discrete chain, the empty box through which the chain reproduces, evolves, and increases infinitely. Since the signifier passing through the string is itself ‘absent’, always else and somewhere other than itself, there is no reason to stop multiplying, i.e., in Dennis Cooper’s case, that the writing ends, in reverse. at I made a wish, this sequential logic is the principle of composition and writing. Dennis Cooper’s story consists of the processes of displacement, reverberation, moving forward through appeal, and repetition through which the semantics are moved, rearranged, being less bearing of meanings than possibilities which are realized differently according to the plural series.

Such is the case with George Miles. This is also the case with “Dennis” who, in the book, sometimes the author writes his name, sometimes a character the author is talking about, and sometimes another character: an artist, Santa Claus, etc. Likewise, situations are taken up, transferred, sometimes reversed, and slipped into something else depending on greater or lesser differences. By the book in the plural manner, there is the gun, the suicide, the hole (either that of the volcano that speaks, or the one made by the bullet passing through it in the skull, or the hole that also speaks, or that. which results from the ax to the head), the confrontation, etc. I made a wish He is the book of this series, a double book where similarity (not identity) prevails, where the transposition of signifiers, the suspension of meaning, and the proliferation of writing that is constantly renewed by the absence of a consistent, distinct, and understandable, plausible basis are emphasized.

And because what will be called has no name one can only strive to call it again and again – George Miles, the name of love here is less than no name. And it is these absent names that resonate throughout the book as, no doubt, through Dennis Cooper’s intended work.” Hope to get close to the semi-personality “.

We can also (perhaps in a very paradoxical way if we relate to the popular image of Dennis Cooper’s work) reading this book as an update, for example, New Heloise Rousseau and the romantic traditions that grew out of him. Some key elements of this novel can be found in I made a wish : distance, desire, love – above all the central role of imagination, in the relationship between imagination and desire. In Rousseau (as later, for example, in Proust), desire is inseparable from imagination: it provokes imagination, provokes imagination, “realized” by and within imagination, a fantasy distinct from reality, willingly delirious. The desires spoken of in Dennis Cooper’s account are acts of imagination in which the unsatisfactory, excessively imposed, and unattainable are “real” (” The reality is very directive, and so far I haven’t tried to stick to it when I write. ”) are taken up, reconstructed, and reformulated according to various possibilities which correspond more to desire or, better, allow desire to exist, persist, reproduce, and desire inseparable from these arrangements managed by imagination (one will surely find something that prevails). I made a wish It was built from this meticulous work of fiction, driven in a more radical way by Rousseau, which would invoke a peculiar breed combining Proust, Sade, Stenthal, Duras… Too “romantic”.

The fact is that this “romantic” logic in Dennis Cooper is also the logic of writing, and in this it is closer to scholastic infinity than to the Prussian cycle. The object of desire remains in itself foreign, and the other, “absent”, exists as a subject = X, which cannot be rejoined, and whose existence cannot end in any encounter, in any narrative: it continues as a signifier. In the language, the language of madness, “go around” (” I’m still a writer in love and lost in language ‘), results in the reproduction of language, like a black hole which, instead of absorbing light, would infinitely be born.

A book of love and writing, a book of desire, a “structural” or “romantic” book, I made a wish He radically develops the formal consequences (relating to story, ‘personality’, time, pronunciation, etc.) In an equally ‘central’ manner, I made a wish It relates to death, due to the suicide of George Miles but also to the strange love affair between “Dennis” and death, himself the object of his desire and by which he wants to be loved. Like George Miles, death intersects with the story as an X=body, embodied and reincarnated, reproducing according to repetition, an eternal return. as George Miles, death unknown That it cannot be reduced to anything that exists, it remains beyond the reach of experience but also of conceptual thought, remains the driving force of the imagination, the gap in the word circulating in discourse without the ability to say it, and thus language spreads. And so the signifiers interchange, intersect, feed, distinguish, and embrace: George Miles, love, and death are arranged here in order of strange embraces, complications and strange encounters. This movement, which is both in language and in existence, generates the constituent harmony of the story and makes it a meditation on love, writing, and creation, as before death.

Dennis Cooper I made a wishtranslated from the American Elsa Boyer, editions Paul, 2022, 128 p., 17 euros – read an excerpt – here is an interview by Dennis Cooper with Olivier Steiner

Leave a Comment