On Giving Birth to One's Own Mother: Essays on Art and Society

Jay Cantor, Author Alfred A. Knopf $19.95 (177p) ISBN 978-0-394-58752-3
In a seductive book of wide-ranging essays, several of them previously published, Cantor ( The Death of Che Guevara ; Krazy Kat ) shows that he is as insightful a critic as he is a novelist. In writing about Marx, Nietzsche and Freud, he urges readers to embrace these ``patriarchs'' for the questions they raise about our humanity rather than abandon them in postmodern despair for the ``answers'' they mistakenly theorized were at the core of our behavior. Cantor discusses the genesis of his book on Che from a personal perspective as well as in terms of the political dramas of the 1960s. He also can be playful, reintroducing Krazy Kat 's Ignatz Mouse to wish Mickey Mouse a happy 60th birthday. Blending the comic with the serious--or, what he terms the ``high'' and the ``low''--Cantor constructs a convincing language to reveal himself and his cultural icons (Arshile Gorky, Delmore Schwartz, among others). His clarity is a magical additive given the complexity of his ideas. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 03/04/1991
Release date: 03/01/1991
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