by Brian James Schill



This Year’s Work in the Punk Bookshelf, Or, Lusty Scripts, is the story of the books punks read and why they read them. It challenges the cliche that punk rock is a bastion of violent and/or thick-skulled burnouts and illiterates, exploring how for decades punk and postpunk subculture have absorbed, debated, and reintroduced into popular culture, philosophy, classic literature, poetry, and avant-garde theater. Connecting punk to not only Hegel, Nietzsche, and Freud, but Dostoevsky, Rimbaud, Henry Miller, Kafka, Antonin Artaud, and Philip K. Dick, this work documents and interprets the subculture’s literary history. In detailing the punk bookshelf, Lusty Scripts contends that punk’s literary and intellectual interests can be traced to the sense of shame (whether physical, socioeconomic, cultural, or sexual) its advocates feel in the face of a shameless market economy that not only preoccupied many of punks’ favorite writers but generated the entire punk polemic.