Mollie Elizabeth Pyne at 3:AM Magazine:
Prior to her death from breast cancer in 1997, Kathy Acker wrote critically on the normative and hegemonic discourses and structures surrounding gender and sexuality, the (feminised) body, and taboos, in particular of sex, pornography and abjected beings. Through the female characters in her novels she explored and situated her own sexed and gendered positionality within systems of power and disciplinary, totalitarian violence. Acker was heralded and criticised for challenging traditional literary conventions, melding the boundaries of fiction, poetry, essay and diary writing or epistolary, of high-brow and low-brow, or as she called it “Schlock”, as well as the distinctions between literature and art. She has often been labelled a writer of the postmodern era, or, at worst, confined as a female literary offspring of William S. Burroughs or David Antin, Charles Olson and other Black Mountain Poets. Yes Acker did plagiarise or “cut-up” existing works, describing it as a crisis of voice as well as a (tactic of guerilla warfare, in the use of fictions, of language). Her Fathers told her to find her own voice, or in other words, to find and then sell her soul; although not as the stuff of essence or transcendent energy, but the individualised Cartesian soul, aka the mind.