Lightsey Darst reviews Kenneth Goldsmith’s Seven American Deaths and Disasters, which is composed entirely of transcripts of news surrounding major deaths and events like JFK, RJK, Lennon, Challenger, Columbine, 9/11 and Michael Jackson:
The transcripts elicit the same strange reactions as the events themselves — triviality struggling with meaning and voyeurism, involuntary feelings sparking amid search for a “right” feeling. Goldsmith calls this mélange “the flickering edge of cliché,” which is an apt enough term for the tumult continually evoked here, with the little distinction that this is literature and therefore a safe zone in which to watch oneself flicker.
Or so it should be, but I kept losing that sense of safety as I read.
A recent episode of “On The Media” featured Goldsmith.