Fiction Collective Two is an author-run, not-for-profit publisher of artistically adventurous, non-traditional fiction.

Doggy Bag


Doggy Bag
by Ronald Sukenick

Paperback
1994
Price: $10.95

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Doggy Bag is an outrageous Avant-Pop answer to T.S. Eliot's "The Waste Land." Don't waste anything: recycle it, cut it up and snarf it down like a Naked Lunch. Doggy Bag is a net of hyperfictions about Americans in a spiritually exhausted Europe forced to recycle the trash of their own culture. Under the dictatorship of the consumer, ecology is freedom. Written in a person to person and often interactive style, Doggy Bag samples advertising, the entertainment industry and B-movie versions of ancient mythologies, splices in cryptograms, wierd graphic designs, humans infected with a computer virus, conspiracy projection studios, neural image fabrication by Total Control, Inc., and gives you characters like Jim Morrison, Federico Fellini, a bird named Edgar Allan Crow, a secret sect of White Voodoo Financial Wizards, the Iron Sphincters, and Bruno the sex dog. Hard core Porno, Doggy Bag surfs simulacra the way Kerouac cruised the Great American Highway. Recommended for punks, hackers, slackers, rappers, sex fiends, skate rats, metal mainiacs, troublemakers, pleasure junkies, buttonheads, disaffected students and other rabble addicted to good writing.


"A rolling energy, pouring information and serious ideas on this information with the abundance of a good working shower head." —The New York Times Book Review


"Sukenick's prose style is fast, nervy, exciting, like Mailer and even Kerouac at thier best."—Southern Humanities Review


Excerpt


You know what I hate? People who wear trade marks on their clothes. As if to say you are what you buy. But hey, do it yourself. Make up your own mark. Make a statement. Write yourself in to the book of life.

It's happening. I see signs everywhere. They are signs that say, "Hey, I'm me. Pay attention." And the reason is is that nobody is.

It's true I'm sensitive to style. Especially in clothes. Even for a woman, I mean. Because I'm in modes. But this is not a fad. This is a movement. I call it Egoslogan. A movement about persons. But it's not exclusive. It includes second persons and third persons as well as first persons. It's just, like, intensely personal.

I saw a T-shirt the other day that said, "I'm On Hold." It was on an older woman, maybe pushing sixty, which gave it a kind of twist. Then I saw one on a young woman that said "Handle With Care." That was over her breasts, which were big and bouncy. On her back it said, "This Side Up." She was with a big, strong guy whose chest said, "Agile."

Egoslogan.

In the state where I live residents worried about too many people moving in started using bumper stickers that said "Native." Soon bumper stickers appeared that said "Alien," others that said "Naive." Another series began when religious types started sticking "I Found It" on their bumpers. A sticker immediately appeared saying "I Lose It," and another saying "Keep It." In California where things often get started people have long since used their license plates to declare indentity rather than acquiesce in anonymity. "I 1 BB ME." "4Q." "I M A QT." "U R 2 MUCH." "Y W8." "OVER 8." "E Z." "WHO 1."

Graffiti is Egoslogan in a different kind of writing, writing that can skip language. And it can skip countries. It's spread to France where they call it "le tagging." What's it all about? Maybe people anymore don't want to be the blank page for other people. Maybe people want a clean slate. To write their own things, the first of which is "I exist." Or maybe, like animals, they need to mark a territory, tagging it with a signature.

But really there are a lot of people who don't exist. Living, breathing people, some of whom have just slipped between the cracks and there are more and more of those, but also plenty of people who go to work every day, who have bank accounts, relatives, social networks, families, boyfriends or girlfriends, some of them even raise children, belong to the P.T.A. It's not they aren't alive, it's that they don't exist. They don't count. Ask them.

Even so, I'm beginning to find traces of them. More and more evidence that they're crawling out from under whatever. Rocks, old newspapers, tupperware, corporate desks. And this urge to make your mark, to create a signature, is maybe not even so new. I was recently at the Maruithuis museum in the Hague, and found a painting of a church interior by G. Houhgiest, 1600-1661, featuring in the foreground a pillar prominently marked by grafitti.