Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Re. JT Leroy

Having thought I should talk about the JT Leroy thing, now I'm not sure what to say that isn't either obvious or something I've already ranted about on this blog. Nonetheless, here goes. First, the discovery that Astor/Jeffrey's female relative is the public JT really is the smoking gun, even though, as killer luka mentioned and corpodibacco illustrated, there are now and will surely continue to be people who cling to their belief due to whatever psychological need and stubbornness or, in the case of JT's "famous friends," presumably out of pride and ego. Still, the scam is finally in its endgame. The fact is that with the public JT exposed as a fake, there really is no way that a JT Leroy as we knew him could exist. He would have to be hidden away from the world somewhere (albeit with a phone) and not only be the person he has claiimed to be all along but also a pathological liar since this theoretical JT has been perpetuating the idea that it has been he himself doing all these photo shoots and readings and so on. Plus he would need to be simultaneously the sweet, innocent, ultra-sympathetic victim of the world that made so many, many of us go out of our way to lend him support as well as a person so amoral and heartless that he would have allowed himself and others to lie to and manipulate countless people who gave their time and energy to him out of the goodness of our hearts. Is that more plausible than the idea that an aspiring writer in her late thirties pretended (albeit in an elaborate fashion) to be a teenaged street hustler to get attention? No, it's not, and there are precedents for Laura Alpert's scam while the only precedents for the idea that a 'secret real JT' exists are in fiction. As I've said before, there was a time when I knew this supposed JT very well, years when I talked to him on the phone every day, and was told by him (as he later told innumerable people) that I was the most important person in his life, his saviour, the person he loved the most in the world, etc, etc. That JT Leroy was dying of AIDS, covered with karposi sarcoma and so many scars from the abuse he'd received and the self-abuse he'd inflicted on himself that he couldn't go outside because people stared at him, had multiple personality disorder and would call me at all hours of the day and night talking for hours in his various personalities, was seriously addicted to heroin, claimed he had been so horribly abused that he had never developed sexuallly and had useless genitals that were the size of an infant's, sent me pictures of himself in which he bears no resemblance to the person who has subsequently been presented as him, claimed to have never attended school in his life or have had any education whatsoever, was constantly theatening to either commit suicide or find some s&m master who would kill him and expected me to spend hours talking him out of letting this happen, and so on and so on. That was my JT Leroy, who, obviously, does not exactly line up with the star-schmoozing photo op hound/hip gender bending, Warhol referencing writer character who represents the recent "real" JT. But everybody has had their own version foisted on them that uses the basic essentials -- former child prostutute, abused, evil mother, etc. -- and a lot of details that have been refined to create a character who would be the most sympathetic to the person to whom JT was talking. Someday when the dust settles all the different stories will come out and it will be quite fascinating to mix and match. It'll be fascinating to find out how and precisely why Laura did it, if she wrote the books by herself or in collaboration with others, and learn all the little details that might turn this currently ugly, sadistic, greedy game into something worth wasting brain cells and conversation on. But for now I just hope that the people who've been taken will swallow their pride and begin to entertain the fact that that they were fooled, and that it's okay to have been fooled. No one was more fooled than me, and it blows my mind that I bought the whole story for so many years, but accepting that I was really gullible for what I believed was a good cause is really okay and kind of interesting when I'm not angry at Laura for fucking me over. Until the celebrity "close friends" of JT and the people around Laura and Jeffrey and Jeffrey's relative stop giving their full support to their mythical friend, this thing is going to continue to die in a slow, torturous fashion that, as far as I'm concerned, is nothing but depressing and tiresome. Let's get to the fun part. If Laura were truly an evil genius, and if she weren't so understandably afraid of the backlash from hell that she's going to get from the fans and celebrity supporters who've been propping this thing up the last couple of months, she'd cop to the truth now and sell the movie rights and book rights and spend the rest of her life being the minor celebrity she's always wanted to be. I fear she's going try to spin this "new development" in her/JT's favor, although it's hard to know how she could and expect to convince anyone who isn't on her payroll, and I really fear that there are just enough desperate fans and egomaniacal, finger crossing famous people and business associates out there willing to let her make the inevitable death of 'JT Leroy' as gruesome and uninteresting as it is possible for it to be. But we'll see. So, that's what think as of today. And you?


Blogger CycyLolo said...

That JT Leroy story reminds me a lot the novel "The Night Listener" by Amistead Maupin. He must have understood the whole story... It's an excellent book you should read.

1:27 AM  
Blogger jack said...

Hey Dennis.

Happy belated, and thanks for considering me for phase 2. I'm both honored (and a bit scared) to submit to you.

The JT thing really makes me angry. Here's my take (as briefly as I can make it):

In 2000, I interviewed "JT" for The fact that he was on the cover of "Period" was one of the things that impressed the the most, ironically.

I was sort of surprised (and, admittedly, tickled) at how grateful "he" was when the piece came out. I interviewed lots of people, but few would call to thank me (or "just to talk") -- or send me cute little packages in the mail, etc, like JT did.

In retrospect a lot of things didn't add up (he always sounded like a woman on the phone, emails didn't match his published writing style, etc) but what would that make me if I started doubting this amazing story of triumph over adversity?

I was happy for him, but as his career really took off, I never heard from him less some curt emails. The fame-obsessed shit is what really made me start to have my doubts and stop caring.

Last Friday (two days before the Times piece came out) I was taking the bus home from work and I'm fairly certain Laura Albert sat next to me. I recognized her from the NY Mag piece from October.

If it was Laura, (and I'm about 95% sure it was) then she's in a bad way: She was screaming at the driver, talking sort of manically to people about how sick she was and then asking me about my cell phone service. It was koo koo.

1:42 AM  
Blogger benjamin russack said...

Do you think Luara's books would have made it to press had they not come with her elaborate story? And, would you have read her stuff and given it the same attention had she been Laura Albert instead of JT LeRoy? Yeah, that's a mean question, but I only ask it because I STILL don't know if I would have read his books had I known the truth. It makes me worry about the my own perceptions, like I can't see things for what they are.

2:01 AM  
Blogger marc vallee said...

I'm still blown away by all of this as I (and many others) did a fair amount of things to promote "JT Leroy" here in the UK and I'm feeling let down big time. I feel for you Dennis on this as I and many others found "JT Leroy" via you and "JT" being linked to you.

Dennis you are such an open and great guy and it sucks that you have been used in this way.

2:21 AM  
Blogger Jax said...

I'm gonna echo Benjamin's 'mean' but also rather brave question, cos I think there's maybe an element of complicity in this whole Leroy thing - and thus a matter of examining one's own motives...never a pleasant thing, I know, because we all like to think that deep down we are good, charitable, well-meaning people who wanna do what we can to help other people.

But no motive is ever single. Or selfless.

I've said this before, I know: never trust the teller, trust the tale. If you decide to make friends with / sponsor / adopt / fall in love with the teller, caveat emptor, eh?

Right now, my main irritation with the whole thing is the fact that those mediocre-at-best books / Laura whatever-her- name-is are a total and hideous insult to all the abused ex-rent boys out there who are quietly managing to make creative lives for themselves, post the horrors, and are keeping their past where it belongs.

3:34 AM  
Blogger Dickon Edwards said...

For me, you, Susie Bright et al come out of this as generous and helpful to struggling new authors, not as gullible fools.

The 'scam' seems (seemed?) playful rather than deliberately exploitative - a bit of composite role-playing. It's just a shame the author backstory was presented as a selling point and essential contextual element to reading the books. I find the Lemony Snicket biogs tiresome, too, but at least the joke was clear. Reading a story is arguably an interaction of trust between author and reader.

Arguments about 'the work is the work' aren't applicable here, as it's not like the days of George Eliot writing with a man's name in order to be taken seriously. No one thinks that Annie Proulx's womanly status makes her less able to write convincingly about what's it like to be a gay cowboy. So what I want to know is - why the concealment? What's Ms Laura's answer to those who feel used?

I think it's best to wait for interviews with her and Ms Savannah about their full motives before pronouncing a definitive opinion on it all.

My response to all the new LeRoy-generated palaver was to convert this energy into switching off my computer, going into town and buying 'The Sluts'!

By the way, Gay's The Word Bookshop in London is arguably the best place to buy your books in the capital.

4:56 AM  
Blogger Dickon Edwards said...

p.s. by which I mean they have the best range of Dennis Cooper books, and they're an independent business.

5:04 AM  
Blogger np0804 said...

This recalls to me when evidence mounted that Joe Klein wrote Primary Colors, and he kept denying it, and the evidence became unimpeachable, and he still denied it until he was about the only one left who still didn't believe he wrote it. And at that point -- this point -- he finally held a press conference and admitted it. The game is over. . .

5:48 AM  
Blogger christopher is lost said...

discovering that these works were the result of a zealous, fame-hungry, pathological lying, middle-aged woman has caused me to completely reevaluate the emotional impact the stories had on me. reading them from the stance that a formerly abused, brilliant, queer wunderkind had written them meant much much more to me than if I had known the truth. rereading them as laura albert fiction cheapens the intellectual experience, and I feel that my compassion has been coerced out of me under the most vile and reprehensible of ways.

and unfortunately, I agree that laura will use this publicity to twist and turn this story even further, now cashing in on the existentialist metaphor of identity. and likely there will be many people who continue to swallow the shit she's shoveling, propelling this mythos into perpetuity.

a few months ago I bought one of jt's wiffle balls. except I requested that mine be signed by laura. after a few email correspondences between myself and nancy murdock, jt's supposed assistant, one was sent to me. it's a strange piece of objet d'art to own - and a reminder of the complex and duplicitous imbroglio we've all been ensnared.

7:38 AM  
Blogger corpodibacco said...

I wonder what Tom waits is thinking of all this...

Anyway. There's also this thing that just crossed my mind, maybe it's completely crazy but...
I've always had the impression that there was quite a difference in style between 'sarah' and 'the heart...' and 'harold'. 'Sarah' is this incredible and fantastic story, an escape into a not so real different reality. Not so with 'the heart', which is powerful, and a punch in the stomach because the reader is instructed to believe that everything is for real, but there's no real imagination, no escape into a different reality... just diaries. And 'harlod', is a medicore piece of fiction.

Now, Is it not possible that JT actually existed, and that that someone that got in touch with you at the time, Dennis, was actually JT, and then he somehow disappeared or died, and his friends managed to keep him alive to keep the money flowing in? (using his ID, his diaries, etc)
there was, in your experience with him, like a caesura where this thing may have happened?

And, BTW, what happened to 'terminator'?
Terminator disappeared from the internet, which is weird 'cause he had so many things to say and so many readers... And, after publishing the diaries of 'the heart...' it seems like JT had nothing to say anymore... pretty weird.

Anyway, I think that as a reader I made a typical mistake with JT Leroy, which was to give more importance to what I was reading, because the story was true. Like it was a 'document'.
Wrong. This is wrong and I guess it should never happen with fiction, or almost never. There's this dream I once read about in a Kundera's book, about a future where the name or the sex of the author of a novel is never known, the books have only their title on the cover, and all the stories are equally read and written with the idea of fiction in mind, nothing near biographies and stuff. Pretty strange, but still, shouldn't be the story and only the story we read to concern us? No Laura Albert could fool us anymore if we wouldn't mind about the personal story of the authors. I think.

p.s. and yes, I also thank you for considering me for phase 2, even though you never read anything from me. At the moment I am like totally paralized by a sudden sense of inadecuacy but I'll catch up. I'll try not to make a complete imbecile of myself, promise.

8:39 AM  
Blogger tony said...

I simply refer to what I said here after the article in New York. I'm no longer as angry, only, like you all, bored.

Hey Dennis, any way I can make it onto the Phase 3? I don;t have a blog or anything, but...

8:58 AM  
Blogger corpodibacco said...

I hope this thing I am going to add won't piss you even more Dennis, but I have to say that, in my personal case, I first met your books because of a trail... A trail that lead to your books from JT's books... Yes, I admit it, I first read JT than you, because in my small country his celebrity attracted the little attention needed to win my suspicion towards novelty (I rarely use to read new authors, I tend to be too competitive with my contempories...). Only later I learned to look in that direction and go get books by myself among certain 'gay' authors or 'underground' authors, instead of waiting them to be on the news.

I guess it always happens like this, you now... you read something, that leads you to other names and books...

The day I read JT, in my provincial, self-involved, presumptuous little country, an entire world opened up, of american authors I had never heard or read of. One of those was Dennis Cooper all right, and after reading him I realized JT was not coming out of the earth like a potato, but there were fine and finer examples, of possibly more aware and certanly equally sensitive literature...

That was to say that, if they used you or fooled you, I want to believe (and, in my case, I know) you also got something in exchange. Readers... that can look at you with more respect because you never betrayed them... that's something, or I hope it is.

9:29 AM  
Blogger Mike McGonigal said...

happy birthday,dennis -- great to see you write on this totally fucked subject. so sorry you got roped in but you rule for having a big heart and i dunno what else to say.

11:50 AM  
Blogger Killer Luka said...

wow. well said. maybe someday there will be an anthology of writers' reactions to this hoax.

I sent him this drawing, as a gift, a thank you for inspirations etc.:

i guess i was onto something when I drew his chest to resemble a giant, angry snatch. haha oh well.

This all makes me think of Jerzy Kosinski, who lied about being an auschwitz survivor. He ended up killing himself after his lie was revealed. It is somewhat different, because he actually existed, but whether or not out of guilt or for attention, he played himself as the ultimate modern victim. As we know, holocaust survivors have been practically sanctified, no matter what they actually did during the time. While I loved his book, The Painted Bird, his lie will perpetually take away from our ability as humans to understand our nature via experience because it undermines the validity of others' accounts. In my opinion, the recording and documenting of the holocaust experience by actual survivors is a necessary excavation into the pit of the modern human animal we've become. It needn't be spun as a myth. People don't want to know that genocide happens. I also think the same goes for the real survivors of sexual abuse, child-prostitution, human trafficing and so on. People don't want to know it goes on. If one powerful account turns out to be a lie, it is easier to dismiss.

JT was similarly cast as this survivor, a transcending saint of the latter, a symbolic figure, a fucking martyr. It is no wonder people will continue to see him as god-like. More god-like than before, given that he doesn't exist, right? I do find it rather implausible that he died of AIDS and it was kept a secret, since the best possible career move for an artist is to die, especially due to tragic circumstances.
Anyway, it pisses me off to no end that people will go out of their way to undermine the validity of the human experience, especially when they pass themselves off as a victim. They take advantage of modern society's weird obsession with victimhood (thank you, Jesus), exploit intellectual compassion all for personal, usually monetray gain and attention. It's a problem at the heart of a dysfunctional society perpetrated at every level, everyday. So I guess I'm not surprised, since most people are bastards.

His books were good, but easy...even easier now.

A good book is "The Anatomy of The Survivor", by Terence Des Pres. It deals mostly with psychological and anthropological implications of the survivors of genocide, but I still think it applies.

hmm...thank you,

12:18 PM  
Blogger Mikel Motorcycle said...

I guess the first thing that strikes me about this is a feeling of sadness. Just reading about all of the time and energy you personally invested/wasted in JT, and how many people this person completely manipulated, is pretty sad. Further, there's really nothing about this situation that can be salvaged as a "clever prank", nothing was gained by this at the expense of a deserving monolithic corporation, no stale Movement was shaken up by this; it was soley to advance one persons career at the expense of many good, trusting people.

I remember reading "Sarah" and empathizing with JT, I even wrote him a fucking email. So yeah, this whole situation is pathetic for everyone.

1:14 PM  
Blogger Nigel Symon said...

I think I just feel saddened by this whole mess. That this was someone I had believed in, and maybe at some point in time he did, or in an alternative world he does. That the times I had emailed him I know wonder who it was I emailed. There is no anger or bitterness, just sadness that such a thing has happened.

1:27 PM  
Blogger SYpHA_69 said...

Oddly enough, I had never even heard of this JT Leroy thing until I started reading this journal.

2:56 PM  
Blogger Eddie B said...

an interesting parallel to this discussion, i'm wondering what everyone thinks about james frey and "a million little pieces." i read his book and didn't believe for one second i was reading a memoir. it always seemed like fiction to me. actually, i didn't even know it was supposed to be a memoir until the story broke that he was a fraud and i learned that the book was ranked on the non-fiction list.

obviously it's a little different from the jt leroy case where this person preyed on peoples' personal time and their sympathy for a dying child. but why are people so angry with james frey? does their outrage come from the fact that they've been duped? or is it because their romance with the lives of drug-addicted desperados has been dampened?? either way, memoirs have always been embellished, haven't they? this guy might be schizophrenic and really believe all of what he wrote actually happened.

i'm rambling, but my point is to say that personally, the feelings and expectations of the reader are always more interesting to me in these stories than the authors themselves.

carry on :)

2:58 PM  
Blogger Chilly Jay Chill said...

Great insights all around - and I think the Joe Klein comparison will probably prove prophetic as Laura rides out the JT scam as long as possible. Or at least until the new JT novel is released.

As for killer luka's comments about Kosinki, didn't it also turn out that he didn't write his novels by himself? I had read that his books were actually collaborations with other writers -different people for different books, in many cases. Does anyone know anything more about this? I'm not sure it discredits the work (still love "Steps"), but it does open yet more questions about artistic identity, atttribution, etc.

As for authenticity, I wonder what reception "Sarah" would've received if it had been promoted as the work of Laura Albert? Would it have ben dimissed as pure fancy? Would it maybe not even have been published because there was no backstory as a "hook"? Would it have been recognized as an impressive and occasionally clumsy work by a talented writer still finding her voice?

2:59 PM  
Blogger garrison said...

Preach on, Dennis. It's got me all pissed off again, thinking of those manipulative puppet masters cashing in on their repulsive exploitation of concern for AIDS ans Child Abuse.

here, here...

7:09 PM  
Blogger David Saä Viccenzo said...

"Anyway, it pisses me off to no end that people will go out of their way to undermine the validity of the human experience, especially when they pass themselves off as a victim. They take advantage of modern society's weird obsession with victimhood (thank you, Jesus), exploit intellectual compassion all for personal, usually monetray gain and attention. It's a problem at the heart of a dysfunctional society perpetrated at every level, everyday. So I guess I'm not surprised, since most people are bastards." -Killer Luka-

"As I've said before, there was a time when I knew this supposed JT very well, years when I talked to him on the phone every day, and was told by him (as he later told innumerable people) that I was the most important person in his life, his saviour, the person he loved the most in the world, etc, etc. That JT Leroy was dying of AIDS, covered with karposi sarcoma and so many scars from the abuse he'd received and the self-abuse he'd inflicted on himself that he couldn't go outside because people stared at him, had multiple personality disorder and would call me at all hours of the day and night talking for hours in his various personalities, was seriously addicted to heroin, claimed he had been so horribly abused that he had never developed sexuallly and had useless genitals that were the size of an infant's, sent me pictures of himself in which he bears no resemblance to the person who has subsequently been presented as him, claimed to have never attended school in his life or have had any education whatsoever, was constantly theatening to either commit suicide or find some s&m master who would kill him and expected me to spend hours talking him out of letting this happen, and so on and so on." -Dennis´s voice-

I´m crying...too much

7:28 PM  
Blogger paidal said...

As people wonder whether Ms. Albert would've been able to sell her writing on her own, without the JT Leroy grandeur behind it, I wonder whether this was her goal all emerge as the "voice" of JT and make a name for herself using that dubious infamy as a vehicle. After all, they say no publicity is bad publicity.

8:34 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

9:00 PM  
Blogger SYpHA_69 said...

Did anyone else here see Frey on Larry King last night? Man, can that guy talk in circles. He must have used the word "subjective" about a million times.

I work full-time at a Barnes & Noble, but it's one of the smaller ones so our selection kind of sucks. Most people just buy the bestsellers, and we've been selling this "Million Little Pieces" book like hot cakes for months now. Really frustrating as there are much better books out there. Frey himself said that he originally tried to publish his book as fiction, but when so many publishers turned it down he decided to make it a memoir. H'mmm... Most Americans will probably look past the lies, however, choosing instead to soak in the "redemptive" aspects of the book, and, oh, but it's helped so many people! [sneer]

9:08 PM  
Blogger KOSA_838 said...

Yes that is truly fucked up. It is quite amazing that Laura pulled that shit off though, kinda like a shitty Machiavelli or something like that. Surprising that after all of the homosexual/ crossdressing/ transgender (supposedly) autobiographical information, it just turned out to be a hetero female!! I'm sorry, but I really can't believe it!

Something else that this makes me wonder about: Is Gus Van Sant in on it? I mean, J.T. Leroy supposedly had something to do with the writing of Elephant. And that whole "Thistle" band rigamorol... This is such a huge literary conspiracy! Did J.T. Leroy have a part in 9/11? Just kidding! Seriously though I believe when all of the facts come out about this, there will be SO many people involved.


9:18 PM  
Blogger Killer Luka said...


If anyone has seen this already or not, it's a brilliant insight from another great writer on all this...

She says "If one more person finds the real Dennis and George through Sarah, though... maybe, just maybe, it was worth it."

that happened to me. thank you.

9:35 PM  
Blogger Susan said...

Earlier I was inclined to shrug about this -- I didn't care about JT Leroy's writing and had no particular stake in him being who he supposedly was, beyond my assumption that the writer of those books was not lying nonstop to the world about every single aspect of their identity so they could get famous and paid for writing and performing the experiences of AIDS, child abuse, heroin addiction, and severe mental illness, that is -- but I've gotten a bit upset since reading more stuff. I'm now really curious about what will come next, if anything.

Again, sorry for your mindfuck, Dennis. I've had similar but not on this scale. I don't imagine you'll let your basic stance towards people change as a result of it, though. What you said about "accepting that I was really gullible for what I believed was a good cause is really okay and kind of interesting, when I'm not angry" seems like a good attitude to have.

This all seems like it could also be read as an indictment of certain tendencies of wussy-assed fuzzy-minded cultural liberalism, but I'm too frazzled to parse it all out right now. I mean, people were fucking thrilled about JT's carefully constructed identity and position w/r/t the violence used in the writing and in the backstory, while people who should know better still freak out about stuff, like oh maybe the work of one Dennis Cooper, that is WAY more interesting, much better writing, etc., not to mention not being sold as something it isn't, partly because it hasn't got the kind of larger narrative to it that we seem to really, really want. Ecch.

Have people seen Todd Solondz' Happiness? I keep thinking of the scene with the dark-haired stylish sister, the successful author of poetry about her totally made-up experiences of sexual abuse, throwing herself across her bed in a fit of self-disgust: "If only I had been raped as a child! I'd know true authenticity!"

Re James Frey: Apparently Random House is offering refunds to people who bought his book and now want their money back, though it's not clear whether this is standard practice or just for Frey's book. Wonder if Leroy's publisher will do the same? I bet not. Anyway Frey's writing ... has to be read to be not believed, shall we say.

Happy belated birthday, Dennis.

9:42 PM  
Blogger Paul America said...

One book was really important to me. I used to say it was my end-all all-time favorite (this makes me feel totally weird). You did yr top 50 a bunch of days ago... yr always consious of the pantheon, right??? It's gonna pop up everytime I'm subjected to something brilliant. (incidentally, it changed to GUIDE when I went to college and had axsess to better bookstores).

I really haven't thought about it since i read the first expose. put the books where i can't see 'em. I'm lucky, I rarely get too emotionally attached to anything that isn't pharmaceutical. I can't really say I've cried any tears or felt any real horrible anguish about this. To borrow a phrase from MOJO's dismissive (and totally unjustified) review of Courtney Love's AMERICA'S SWEETHEART which I've committed to memory - the whole thing is just "too ghastly to contemplate". I guess I just feel sorry for a buttload of kids.

But at one point in time, it kinda was pharmaceutical i guess. and if i ever saw the bitch on the street, I'd be somewhat feisty.

Do you think Courtney Love knew all along? I honestly don't think she did. Mabey, right??? She'll probably come out and say that the whole fuck-all is misogynistic and if a 50 year old man wrote the books there would be less outrage. she'd probably be right, on some level. right???

Did you make a list of people who probably knew and people who didn't??? "the grifters and the grifted"??? Van Sandt's probably on the payroll, right???

And how do we know, DC, that you weren't in on the whole scam from the beginning, and just gave hesitant quip to NY before it blew up so you wouldn't be implicated - lest you alienate the transgressive demographic - with a new novel on the horizon?

I know you weren't. and I probably shouldn't have written that (really). But this is the shit that went through my head when i heard about this. And it just shows you how COMPLETELY FUCKED UP anyone who's ever waxed superlatives on this cunt's work is if they entertain for ONE FUCKING MINUTE the thought that this shit is "brilliant' or "warholian".

I'm sorry for not being uniformly playfull in this post.

moving on, as we all should probably do...
do you read MOJO???

10:28 PM  
Blogger jack said...

Am I the only person to notice how eerily prophetic the lyrics to GBV's "The Finest Joke Is Upon Us" is to this whole morass???? Creepy!!!

10:48 PM  
Blogger barnpauls said...

Not such a big deal to me really. I liked the books but became increasingly disinterested in the JT character as he gained many celebrity friends and flogged his ware with such desperation. Go getters are not sexy and cool y'know. Effortless talent without ambition, well, now your talking.

11:38 PM  
Blogger Paul Curran said...

Reminds me a bit of a case in Australia about ten years ago. This woman calling herself Helen Demidenko won the Vogel Award (for young writers) with a novel she claimed was based of real accounts of her Ukrainian relative’s time as a concentration camp guard. The book was published by Allen & Unwin and went on to win the Miles Franklin Award (for any writers). She went on TV dressed in Ukrainian ethnic clothes. When the story came out that she was really Helen Darville (with English blood) there was similar debates about authenticity, identity, postmodernism etc. The award judges were embarrassed because they were meant to judge work purely on literary merit and a lot of people who supported her were also pissed off. After that it came out that some of the details in the novel had been lifted almost word-for-word from a history book. She eventually disappeared, like the JT thing will. The last I heard was that she was studying law or economics or something, said there was more money in it than writing. Enough said.

1:56 AM  
Blogger jcschlim said...

The only big mystery now remaining:


From my perspective the whole thing came as a kind of relief, as I hated all these different JT's, I had to speak to. Beware of people saying too often "I love you so much..."

As for the "naïvité humaine", it should be respected, I would even say protected, it's a good thing to trust. Beeing fooled doesn't make us wiser, it just sucks out some more of the good human feelings most of us certainly have.

I don't have any sympathy for a hoax faking the AIDS victim and promoting heroin as the ultimate romantic reunion. I prefer having sex and/or making love. JT hated sex - cherchez la femme...

PS I have 150 pages of unpublished JT stuff, maybe I should release it?

2:31 AM  
Blogger antonio said...

- paul america

i think of courtney often and i love her and hope she lives forever

- everything else

i'm just not sure what to think about this debacle. i mean. i know what it feels like to do something you regret so completely. especially something that involves creation. i know what it feels like to be called unethical and let a ton of people down just because of something i made. i wasn't doing anything for attention. i did things because i had to do them. just to see what could happen. just to tell myself that i made that and now it's gone. i'm sure alot of us know what it feels like to be hated. and alot of us know what it feels like to be told that we're exploiting things. i've exploited so much in my lifetime. the dean of my art school told me that i was an ethical void right before he kicked me out. i guess i'll devote the rest of my life to burning that institution to the ground. but not. because it's over. i did what i had to do nomatter what. and that's greedy and it may be unethical but i don't believe i should be restrained. i've chased dreams across this country and have been chased by them right back to where i started from. and i don't feel any regret. i would do it all over again because i had to do it. it was inside of me. and isn't all of that the reason why we discovered anything at all? i didn't know jt, but i mean i could understand how someone could be angry that he doesn't exist anymore. especially because dennis thought he did. but at the same time i can't because i've always distanced myself from anything that could cause the least bit of emotive pain, because i feel i've had my maximum quantity of that. i operate in an orb now. and i like it that way. so i guess that makes me inhuman. but aren't we all inhuman? especially us? oh fuck it, i don't know.

so, i cant really say anything about this stuff. i do feel bad that anyone's feelings or morals were damaged about this. i feel bad for dennis. and i feel bad for whoever jt is.
but i'm just not sure that anyone can be blamed for anything.
we're all people made from desire. that's all we are.

i wish there was something more hopeful or good we can say on this subject. but i know too much of what it feels like to be hated and feel those consequences. nothing has been there to protect me. i dont have the money and i dont have the fanbase.

so i yeah, like i said.. i don't know. it's still just a freak to me and i don't think anything can fix that.

11:42 AM  
Blogger A.R.Yngve said...

Get over it.

4:44 AM  
Blogger young/guns said...

in my world, the worst thing about the jtl situation is that someone i thought was close to me said he know jt and had met him/was asked to be in a threeway with him. described how he looked...


it shook my faith in someone i love/ed. whatever.

3:37 AM  
Blogger blakefraina said...

i think laura albert was way beyond clever in that she appealed to (many) people's prurient interest in sexually abused children in order to acquire all those well connected supporters. no offense, but it strikes me that, whether you'd be willing to admit it at this point or not, hearing those lurid stories you speak of - the ones horrific abuse and its aftermath - must have turned you on, on some level, and kept you coming back for more. in this, she is truly a scheherazade for our times, no? but i'm not defending her, you understand. i suspected the moment i saw that photo of "jt leroy" in spin magazine last year that it was all some sort of hoax (despite heated arguments with a number of believers). albert is a skank. its too bad the books continue to sell so hotly.

10:36 AM  

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