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summary
The Unnaming of Aliass performs a paradoxical quest for wildly “untold” stories in the company of one special donkey companion, a femammal of the species Equus asinus and, significantly, a registered “American Spotted Ass.” Beast of burden that she is, this inscrutable companion helped carry a ridiculous load of human longings and quandaries into a maze of hot, harrowing miles, across the US South from Mississippi to Virginia, in the summer of 2002 -- all the while carrying her own onerous and unreckoned burdens and histories. Over two decades, the original journey evolved -- from the cracking-open of a quasi-Western novel-that-never-was by an implosive pun, into an ongoing philosophical and assthetic adventure: a hybrid roadside- and barnyard-based living-art practice, wherein “Aliass” un/names something much harder to grasp than the body of a lovely little ass: protagonist, setting, and traditional Western narratives turn inside-out around this “name-that-ain’t.” Through a deeply dug-in questioning of its own authorial assumptions, The Unnaming of Aliass makes space for untold autobiographies and bright dusty lacunae, tracing ineffable tales through the tangled shapes and shadows that interweave in any environment.

Table of Contents

  1. Cover
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  1. Half-Title Page, Donation Page, Copyright, Title Page
  2. pp. i-viii
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  1. Contents
  2. pp. ix-x
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  1. Preamble & Assnowledgments
  2. pp. xi-xvi
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  1. Invitation to an Unnaming (or, Untold Stories from the Road to Nameless)
  2. pp. 17-52
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  1. Part I: “What You Gonna Do About Yer Ass?”
  1. 1. Exit Music (for a Road Trip)
  2. pp. 53-82
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  1. 2. On Puns, Passwords, and American Spotted Asses
  2. pp. 83-122
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  1. Interlude: S/He Ride Double? (On Tennessee Come-ons and Hybrid Blassphemies)
  2. pp. 123-140
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  1. 3. Thralls and Galls (Meeting a She-ass in Tennessee)
  2. pp. 141-172
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  1. Homily: The Prettiest Little Shotgun Wedding You Never Saw
  2. pp. 173-182
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  1. Part II: Art of a Sull
  1. 4. Art of a Sull (Making Stories with Untold Others)
  2. pp. 183-208
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  1. Interlude: Knoxville ’99
  2. pp. 209-216
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  1. 5. Going Asstray (Carcassonne and Beyond)
  2. pp. 217-234
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  1. Interlude: Snakes of Virginia
  2. pp. 235-240
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  1. 6. Dead-Car Crossing
  2. pp. 241-274
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  1. 7. Passing-Through (Nomads in the Valley of Dooms)
  2. pp. 275-306
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  1. 8. R.A.W. Assmilk Soap
  2. pp. 307-332
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  1. Bibliography
  2. pp. 333-334
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Additional Information

ISBN
9781953035134
MARC Record
OCLC
1227264769
Pages
354
Launched on MUSE
2020-12-22
Language
English
Open Access
Yes
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