Dennis Cooper was born on January 10, 1953 and grew up in the Southern California cities of Covina and Arcadia. In 1976, he founded Little Caesar Magazine and Press, which he ran until 1982. In 1985, he moved to Amsterdam for two and a half years, where he began his ten year long project, The George Miles Cycle, an interconnected sequence of five novels that includes Closer, Frisk, Try, Guide, and Period. His post-George Miles Cycle novels include My Loose Thread, The Sluts and his most recent novel, the highly acclaimed God, Jr. Other works include the short-story collection Wrong, a collection of poetry titled The Dream Police and All Ears: Cultural Cristicism, Essays and Obituaries. Dennis Cooper currently spends his time between Los Angeles and Paris. His latest work, a limited edition collection of new poems, titled The Weaklings is available now from Fanzine Press.
The Marbled Swarm is Dennis Cooper’s most haunting work to date. In secret passageways, hidden rooms, and the troubled mind of our narrator, a mystery perpetually takes shape—and the most compelling clue to its final nature is “the marbled swarm” itself, a complex amalgam of language passed down from father to son.
Set largely on the pages of a website where gay male escorts are reviewed by their clients, and told through the postings, emails, and conversations of several dozen unreliable narrators, The Sluts chronicles the evolution of one young escort’s date with a satisfied client into a metafiction of pornography, lies, half-truths, and myth. Explicit, shocking, comical, and displaying the author’s signature flair for blending structural complexity with direct, stylish, accessible language, The Sluts is Cooper’s most transgressive novel since Frisk, and one of his most innovative works of fiction to date.
Cooper says, “I present the actual act of evil so it’s visible and give it a bunch of facets so that you can actually look at it and experience it. You’re seduced into dealing with it. … So with Frisk, whatever pleasure you got out of making a picture in your mind based on … those people being murdered, you take responsibility for it.” In unsparingly confessional mode, Cooper leads the reader into a confrontation with what they get out of fantasized scenes of violence. A brilliant novel — not a genre horror work but, rather, a critique of the power of genre.
Why is it I feel a new nostalgia for the era of the guillotine?
When I started writing
I was a sick teenaged
fuck inside who partly
thought I was the new
Marquis de Sade, a body
doomed to communicate
with Satan who was us-
ing my sickness as his
home away from home,
and there’s your proof.
Human bodies are such garbage bags.
When a child grows old enough to know J.R.R. Tolkien was just staring at a typewriter, the truth can be a wounding exposé.
Dan thought of love as defined by books, cobwebbed and hidden from view by the past. Too bad a love like that didn’t actually exist. In the twentieth century one had to fake it.
I’m a talentless but popular young singer and I have the feeling someone is watching me. I use the term loosely because I have few feelings, and even they’re too simple, like primary colors.