A conversation with not-novelist Masha Tupitsyn about her new book Love Dog
In November 2011, the writer and critic Masha Tupitsyn started a blog called Love Dog. Like she said at the time, her stance was Hamlet’s: “You don’t let go of your object
Love Dog — now also a book coming out soon from Penny-Ante, and the second volume in Tupitsyn’s trilogy of immaterial writing — is a project about love in the digital age, feminist love, and mourning. It is also a good read, lit through with ’80s songs, red and green, tarot’s fool, screenshots, time jumps, and a tough, elegant shyness. (Like Bowie, Tupitsyn knows “when to go out and when to stay in.”) It is a multimedia notebook, pieced out in day-sized chunks like it was originally, on Tumblr. First, though, Love Dog is a call to love, all the stronger and wiser because Tupitsyn’s heart has been broken too.
Her object is X.: “The person for whom I read everything now and will write this year, making the ‘you’ into a world.” Tupitsyn’s X. is not foggy, or a narcissistic cipher, but an actual person who is never named. And as Love Dog picks up speed, Tupitsyn writes too to her mother, to her dear friend Elaine Castillo, to books, cities, and others.
Though I see why Tupitsyn does not call herself a novelist, I’m going to keep Love Dog on my shelf next to Chris Kraus and Herta Müller anyway. Like their books, Love Dog is one you can enter at any point, yet is still cohesive and wholly of itself.
Masha and I chatted by email in late May and early June 2013.
Read the “The Dogs of Love” here.
image by masha tupitsyn
The internet is so nerve-racking for me. I’m still not used to it. It’s like looking at an x-ray all day long—of yourself, of others, of a culture. Nothing feels safe. In an email, I ask my mother why even success (reblogs, retweets, viral attention) feels shitty on the internet. How I always feel sullied afterwards for some reason. How even when the response is good, it feels bad, and makes me want to hide even more than I already do.
She writes: “But this is the disadvantage of publishing on line. With it comes instant gratification and instant humiliation.”
The internet doesn’t require you to have thicker skin. It requires you to have no skin. Which makes everything feel painful unless you learn to feel no pain at all.
A portion of my long conversation about my new book, Love Dog, with Make/shift editor Jessica Hoffman in Bitch Magazine:
Read the interview here:
More interviews to come throughout the summer.
In Voyage to Italy (1954), the feeling of estrangement between a husband wife is made literal in Certified Copy (2010). Binoche and Shimell might be strangers or they might be married. We never find out.
In both films, a couple is not really a couple, intimates are really strangers, images replace bodies, and copies and originals, are ultimately and increasingly interchangeable.