Thursday, January 04, 2007
Joseph Cooper's Autobiography of a Stutterer, Available Now From BlazeVox Books
The Autobiography of a Stutterer
Autobiography of a Stutterer is a culmination of the past fifteen years of my life as a stutterer. The purpose of this text is to give readers the opportunity to experience a speech impediment first hand. By following the legend and mimicking the symptoms of a fluency disorder, difficulties in communication and comprehension will begin to surface. Although non-stutterers reading this text will naturally elude the psychological fears and inhibitions experienced by stutterers, they have the chance to discover the mechanics of a fluency disorder and its frustrating interruptions. The text is to be read aloud, preferably in front of others.
-Joseph S. Cooper
Praise for Autobiography of a Stutterer
In Autobiography of a Stutterer, Joseph S. Cooper has realized a beautifully timed sequence of works running through the double gates of lips and teeth, and faith and love. He arrives at the fabulous tongue, personal runway of language, and from there the words take off and return in a series of spasmodic flights that together comprise a breakthrough book. Like a new family member, please welcome it and enjoy its unpredictably bright and wide-eyed movements.
Joseph S. Cooper’s, Autobiography of a Stutterer positions the reader (performer) in the liminal spaces between articulation and interruption, fluency and stuttering, the spaces between monologue and dialogue, language and body, in order to develop a narrative wholly engaging, critically poised, and deconstructive. It is no small accomplishment that this autobiography carries within it a specific subjectivity (the author’s) at the same time it stages the desubjectification of its readers/performers. This text allows you to lose yourself within it, as one ethical body encountering another. In fact it holds the potential to reveal how being a more ethically responsible human might be to do just that.
Joseph S. Cooper writes where the body does not exactly say yes but where it wants something else. By this I mean the bodies he is making are profoundly wild: propelled by phonetic imperatives and breaks in the deep structure that could be described as aberrant, but which I prefer to think of as delicious. What is a mouth and where is it going? I read his work as a future for the tongue, whether that's English, pre-English or the English that's dismayed and privately ashamed (in a good way) to find itself in such proximity to the teeth. I suggest wearing a gum-shield. I suggest serving Jell-O to your guests. Joseph S. Cooper is a genius and, to find out how the party really got going, I suggest you open this amazing, completely frightening book.