Electric Literature “The Tribe of Collective Grief: On Philip Seymour Hoffman & Developing The Third Eye”


Very honored to have an extended personal essay up at Electric Literature this afternoon. This is a new piece from a collection of essays I am working on inspired by conceptual artist Lawrence Weiner’s typographic texts. Weiner once wrote, “Bits and Pieces Put Together To Present A Semblance of A Whole.” This collection hopes to engage with words, art, film, politics and poetics – merging the intimate with the academic, rhetoric with confession, criticism with contemporary reflection – and covers both archival and imaginative texts. This is perhaps the most personal essay from the collection to date on witness, addiction, collective grief and developing the third eye. This one’s for you, “My Hoffman,” with much love always, Annie.  

“I first pulled up to New York in front of our little studio in a fancy building on Central Park West in “My Hoffman’s” grandfather’s old Oldsmobile. His Polish grandfather, Ja-Ju, owned a casket-making business in the working-class town of Lowell, MA.  Ja-Ju used to carry around the long wooden boxes that housed the dead in the back of the car where our towers of cardboard IKEA boxes now peeked out of the back window.  This was the only car that would fit us and the collective detritus of our mutual dreams as we made the pilgrimage from small-town Massachusetts to these city lights…”

For the full text read here.


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