:: Buzzwords

3:AM Cult Hero: Alexander Trocchi

“I tend to think of Alex Trocchi as the original punk rocker.
He never lets you down because he always aims to disappoint.”

Tom McCarthy on Trocchi:

If Paris was a moveable feast for Hemingway, junk, for Trocchi, is a moveable void: taking that void around the city with him, in him, he ensures that he inhabits negative space constantly. This is his poetic project and it’s also the way his whole perception system works at its most basic level (the two are the same). I can’t stress enough how utterly negative Trocchi’s negative space is. It’s negative in the strict chemical or photographic sense of the word.


Trocchi is important, more so now than ever. We’re living in a time when the very ‘uncreative work’ against which he permanently struck is dominating culture, especially in the field of publishing. All too often, pliant authors are content to serve as little more than copywriters advertising neoliberal concerns, churning out middle-market copy for conglomerates, and all too often broadsheets who rely on these conglomerates for revenue try to persuade us that this copy is literature. Well it’s not; and Cain’s Book is. It’s a book in which the very possibility of literature booms and resonates, or (to use another metaphor) rushes and gurgles like so much black water under a hull two miles from land: literature’s possibility and, of course, its impossibility.

More: Scots Alec, an Trocchi resource / Andrew Stevens interviews Denis Browne, Trocchi’s literary assistant / Lord of Junk Himself, Denis Browne’s talk on Trocchi / Stewart Home‘s introduction to White Thighs / ‘Between the glittering mirage and the dust of reality,’ an appreciation of Young Adam / Oneworld Classics‘ page for Trocchi

First posted: Thursday, January 28th, 2010.

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