Dennis Cooper on Charisma

by on Jun.28, 2012

Kate Wolf has conducted an awesome interview with Dennis Cooper for LA Review of Books, in which he says a lot of stuff that that appeals/applies to Montevidayo:

When things are charismatic, you can’t really put your finger on it because it isn’t always just that they’re beautiful. There are people who are really attractive, but they don’t really have charisma. It’s there, and then you get to know them and it’s gone. And then there are people who have this incredible allure that keeps you interested in them and what they want to say. I think about it as a way to get around character and plot and psychological stuff; I just think about it really practically. How can I hold their attention, how can I get them interested in this — so they’ll be interested in something deeper, more in it than just the characters and what they’re going to do or what’s going to happen in the end or how the story is going to play out? Just trying to find a way to make the words really charismatic. I mentioned Rimbaud — Rimbaud’s work is incredibly charismatic. That’s a really high example of it. And that’s one thing poetry does, and maybe because I came out of poetry to a certain degree, because poetry’s all about charisma.

How is that for a potent antidote to “sincerity”?

2 comments for this entry:
  1. Lucas de Lima

    Much better. We need to be tricksters, mutant angels, chameleons etc. and thrill and terrify people so they stop looking for ‘sincerity’ altogether.

  2. James Pate

    This is a great quote, and it relates, I think, to the Werner Schroeter clips you have above…charisma is often aligned with glamour. For example, we’re supposed to be wary of charismatic politicians, because it implies shallowness. But if you find yourself too skeptical to believe in what is usually called content (psychological motivations, etc.) then a charismatic art is all that’s left. An art of shadows and colors and gestures…

    James