Haiti By Kathy Acker: Summary

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This book is NOT for everyone. The first time I read this book, my exact first reaction was “Is this some kind of joke” and just to re-confirm what I’ve just read, I read the book once again. The book doesn 't exactly have a precise plot. The title says it all, Kathy goes to Haiti and does thus and so. It is essentially an itinerary of her sexual encounters as told by her heart to her brain. It 's not comfortable or nice or pretty. It 's Haiti as told by Kathy Acker. I love it.
Time is not only very very slow in Haiti, but, as the Haitians tell Kathy, ' 'The people . . . are all gentle and good ' ' and ' 'There 's no violence in Haiti. Anybody can do anything they want. ' ' Kathy does, however, try to give her main tireless stud, Roger, lessons in social justice in the midst of the most graphically pornographic and stunningly dull sex passages - a juxtaposition that I find one of the few comic touches in all three works, even if not redemptive. I 'm at a puritanical disadvantage for a reviewer in not being able to cite much of the dialogue except maybe ' 'Ooh. Ooh. Ah. Ah, ' ' with such elegant variations as ' 'ahaah '
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Kathy Goes to Haiti uses a narrative of the protagonist’s trip to Haiti and the people that she meets there as a constrained example of broader categories of human relationships, both interpersonal and political. It does this very well, and without sacrificing the protagonist’s (Kathy’s) humanity by turning her into some sort of straw man – a humanity which is reinforced by several stream-of-consciousness interludes that give the author the chance to add her own voice to the fictional character that bears her name. This book, alone, would probably merit a five-star review. It reminded me to a certain extent of The Sun Also Rises in terms of its overall structure and purpose, although it is much better written and its central character is more sympathetic and
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