Beauty Talk & Monsters
240 pp., 6 x 9 in,
- Published: April 6, 2007
A collection of stories told through the movies that revisits the lower Manhattan art world and the Atlantic haven of Provincetown in the 1980s.
Masha Tupitsyn's Beauty Talk & Monsters is a debut collection of stories told through the movies. Equally influenced by Brian De Palma and Kathy Acker, Tupitsyn revisits the ruins of a childhood and youth nurtured on the fringe of the glittering lower Manhattan art world and the Atlantic haven of Provincetown in the 1980s. Moving fluidly through space, time, and a range of cinematic frameworks, Tupitsyn cuts through the cynical glamour and illusion of Hollywood to a soft, secret heart.Her narrator, a female loner and traveler, is caught in the maelstrom of films and images, where life is experienced through the eye of a camera lens and seen through the light on the screen. In a precise and elegant style, Beauty Talk & Monsters embraces and confronts a lineage of familiar myths and on- and off-screen cinematic excess in order to challenge the silver screen's century of power over our dreams and ideals. Intimate and intellectual, Tupitsyn's stories play with the cinema's most popular icons and images.
Here is a festival of meaning! Masha Tupitsyn does not meditate on the moviesshe reactivates them in an uproar of image, desire, and identification. Her stories are acts of discovery, written under the sign of Kathy Acker, ambitious for literature itself, the prose pitched high.
Robert Glück, author of Jack the Modernist and Denny Smith
Beauty Talk is in part a meditation on the symbiotic pleasures and impositions of intellectual exileat once an indictment and a celebrationa poetic expression of voluntary solitude which questions what it means to hole up inside yourself, to resist the roles you've been assigned and the thoughts you"re conditioned to accept as your own, and to willfully separate from the disappointment of other people without losing your engagement in and appraisal of the world around you.... The one thin line Tupitsyn maintains is that between on-screen and off-screen. Pop culture is subject, theme, character, and plot in her work, which takes American media as a narrative foundation.
In her debut collection, Masha Tupitsyn is at her best when recalling emotional disaster, and when she aligns herself to this end, with strategies of Kathy Acker and Chris Kraus.
Masha Tupitsyn's debut collection is a breathtaking mixture of tall tale and autobiography, film theory and lover's lament, traveler's diary and gender treatise. A novel-in-parts disguised as a bootleg memoir crossed with a Hollywood tell-all, Beauty Talk & Monsters dares us to ask if there is a point to reliability when a shifty narrator can provide so much obsessive insight.... Beauty Talk & Monsters has a shimmering intimacy.
Mattilda Bernstein Sycamore
The experience of reading Beauty Talk & Monsters is humid, intimate, and juicy; like spying through a window at a neighbor's television set, it provides both the voyeuristic pleasure of watching a stranger's activity and the familiar flicker of a well-known film, now playing in a stranger's psyche.
San Francisco Bay Chronicle
This stunning book is a reckoning with what it is to have been raised with the movies, to not be able to tell the difference anymore between what we've fantasized or dreamt of, what we've been frightened of, what may have been our own or no one's life.
Rebecca Brown, author of The End of Youth and The Haunted House