David Wojnarowicz, Memories That Smell like Gasoline, 1992

David Wojnarowicz, "Memories that Smell like Gasoline: In the Shadow of the American Dream." Edited by Amy Scholder. San Francisco: Artspace Books, 1992

David Wojnarowicz, “Memories that Smell like Gasoline: In the Shadow of the American Dream.” Edited by Amy Scholder. San Francisco: Artspace Books, 1992

Memories That Smell Like Gasoline contains four short stories drawn from David Wojnarowicz’s life, including Into the Drift and Sway, Memories That Smell Like Gasoline, Doing Time in a Disposable Body, and Spiral.

Wojnarowicz biographer Cynthia Carr explains, “The four stories were all about anonymous sex—the sweet pleasures of cruising but also the dangers. There’s a constant sense in these texts of at least latent violence, which sometimes turns real and potentially deadly.”

The fourth story, Spiral, is the last piece David wrote. It includes his candid experiences during the AIDS epidemic, and his poetic thoughts on his own impending death.

This volume is illustrated with David’s black and white water color paintings of anonymous gay sex in porn theaters as well as ink drawings of David’s own sexual experiences.

Memories That Smell Like Gasoline was posthumously published by Artspace Books in 1992. It was re-released by Open Road Media in 2014 as part of a series of republished Kindle editions including Close to the Knives, The Waterfront Journals, and In The Shadow of the American Dream: The Diaries of David Wojnarowicz.

Additional resources re: David Wojnarowicz, Memories That Smell like Gasoline. San Francisco: Artspace Books, 1992.

NYU Fales

Artforum March 1992