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MY MOTHER: DEMONOLOGY

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MY MOTHER: DEMONOLOGY Kathy Acker (Pantheon Books, $22) Kathy Acker’s latest stream-of-consciousness rage tries hard for poetic brilliance. She is adept at face-slapping, heart-stopping images. Her heroine, Laure, describes childhood curiosity: ”I’d do anything to find out about my body, investigated the stenches arising out of trenches and armpits.” Another character wants to kiss the inside of Daddy’s eyelids, because that’s the tenderest spot. But aside from such verbal and physical gymnastics, Laure, searching for her own feminist and sexual identity, never gets beyond snarling that everything’s awful and she hates it. Laure is full of anger and shallow references to academic feminist philosophers. But readers who want comedy, tragedy, romance, humor, information, entertainment, or plot won’t find them in Acker’s new novel. C-

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