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Phil Shoenfelt Stripped I - Až na dřeň

2012 Mat'a, Czech Republic



EAN: 9788072871773

Language: Czech

translated by Ladislav Šenkyřík
illustrated by Jolana Izbická

The cover artwork shows a painting by Claus Castenskiold



Stripped is Shoenfelt’s fourth book and is set in New York in the years 1979-1984. Stripped is the largely autobiographical story of a young man adrift. Moving from London, where he has already dabbled with heroin, the narrator soon finds himself in the hedonistic world of late 70s downtown Manhattan, the epicentre of all things bizarre and extreme. His meeting with Kitty Smutz, topless dancer and renegade performance artist, allows him to immerse himself in the madness, living life to the full among the nocturnal denizens of clubs like CBGBs and Max’s Kansas City. By the time the relationship explodes in flames, he has acquired a serious drug habit and is forced to move from one rat-infested dive to the next, always on the hunt for the next fix. After marrying Rebecca, another topless dancer, the descent into destitution continues, until the choice is all too clear: get out of New York fast, or die.

In terms of the years covered, Stripped is a prequel to Junkie Love. But whereas Junkie Love concentrates on the psychology of addiction, Stripped is a naked account of what happens when the brakes are off and social norms are rejected in favour of immediate experience.
Structurally fragmented, the novel starts in the middle then flashes back to the start, dipping into various stages of the narrator’s life, even back to childhood. Rock musicians, drug-addicted film makers, trust fund babies, street junkies, strippers and porn stars, models, artists, jazz critics and run-of-the-mill maniacs – these are some of the characters who accompany the narrator on a journey to the outer limits of sanity. As well as being a personal account of one man’s struggle with his inner demons, Stripped is also a memoir of a New York that (post AIDS, Giuliani and 9/11)  no longer exists – a dirty, dangerous place, but fertile ground for the artistic imagination, a place where the flowers of madness could grow free and unhindered.


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