The Screwball Asses
96 pp., 5 x 7 in,
- Published: April 23, 2024
- Publisher: Semiotext(e)
A foundational work of queer theory.
First published anonymously in the notorious "Three Billion Perverts" issue of Félix Guattari's journal Recherches—banned by French authorities upon its release in 1973—The Screwball Asses was erroneously attributed to Guy Hocquenghem when it was first published in English in 2009. This second edition of that translation, with a new preface by Hocquenghem biographer Antoine Idier that clarifies the different theoretical positions within France's Front Homosexuel d'Action Révolutionaire, returns the text to its true author: writer, journalist, and activist Christian Maurel.
In this dramatic treatise on erotic desire, Maurel takes on the militant delusions and internal contradictions of the gay-liberation movement. He vivisects not only the stifled mores of bourgeois capitalism, but also the phallocratic concessions of so-called homophiles and, ultimately, the very act of speaking desire. Rejecting any “pure theory” of homosexuality that would figure its “otherness” as revolutionary, Maurel contends that the ruling classes have invented homosexuality as a sexual ghetto, splitting and mutilating desire in the process. It is only when nondesire and the desire of desire are enacted simultaneously through speech and body that homosexuality can finally be sublimated under the true act of “making love.” There are thousands of sexes on earth, according to Maurel, but only one sexual desire. The Screwball Asses is a revelatory disquisition.