Thirty years of "crisis," mass unemployment, and flagging growth, and they still want us to believe in the economy. . . . We have to see that the economy is itself the crisis. It's not that there's not enough work, it's that there is too much of it.
—from The Coming Insurrection
The Coming Insurrection is an eloquent call to arms arising from the recent waves of social contestation in France and Europe. Written by the anonymous Invisible Committee in the vein of Guy Debord—and with comparable elegance—it has been proclaimed a manual for terrorism by the French government (who recently arrested its alleged authors). One of its members more adequately described the group as "the name given to a collective voice bent on denouncing contemporary cynicism and reality." The Coming Insurrection is a strategic prescription for an emergent war-machine to "spread anarchy and live communism."
Written in the wake of the riots that erupted throughout the Paris suburbs in the fall of 2005 and presaging more recent riots and general strikes in France and Greece, The Coming Insurrection articulates a rejection of the official Left and its reformist agenda, aligning itself instead with the younger, wilder forms of resistance that have emerged in Europe around recent struggles against immigration control and the "war on terror."
Hot-wired to the movement of '77 in Italy, its preferred historical reference point, The Coming Insurrection formulates an ethics that takes as its starting point theft, sabotage, the refusal to work, and the elaboration of collective, self-organized forms-of-life. It is a philosophical statement that addresses the growing number of those—in France, in the United States, and elsewhere—who refuse the idea that theory, politics, and life are separate realms.
This new edition of Soft Subversions expands, reorganizes, and develops the original 1996 publication, offering a carefully organized arrangement of essays, interviews, and short texts that present a fuller scope to Guattari's thinking from 1977 to 1985. This period encompasses what Guattari himself called the "Winter Years" of the early 1980s—the imprisonment of Italian radicals, the disillusion with the socialists in power, the backlash against post-'68 thinking, the spread of environmental catastrophe, and the establishment of a postmodernist ideology aimed at adaptation rather than change—a period with discernible echoes twenty years later.
Following Semiotext(e)'s release last season of the new, expanded edition of Chaosophy: Texts and Interviews 1972–1977, this collection offers some new exciting forays in schizo-analysis, and makes Guattari's central ideas and concepts fully available in the format that had been best suited to Guattari's temperament: the guerrilla-styled intervention of the short essay and interactive dialogue. This edition includes such previously unpublished, substantive texts as "The Schizoanalyses," "Institutional Intervention," "Postmodern Deadlock and Post-Media Transition," "New Spaces of Liberty for Minoritarian Desire," and "Minority and Terrorism," along with interviews and essays on a range of topics including adolescence and Italy, dream analysis and schizo-analysis, as well as invaluable autobiographical documents such as "I Am an Idea-Thief" and "So What."
Foreign Agents series
Distributed for Semiotext(e)
Virilio himself referred to his 1980 work The Aesthetics of Disappearance as a "juncture" in his thinking, one at which he brought his focus onto the logistics of perception—a logistics he would soon come to refer to as the "vision machine." If Speed and Politics established Virilio as the inaugural—and still consummate—theorist of "dromology" (the theory of speed and the society it defines), The Aesthetics of Disappearance introduced his understanding of "picnolepsy"—the epileptic state of consciousness produced by speed, or rather, the consciousness invented by the subject through its very absence: the gaps, glitches, and speed bumps lacing through and defining it. Speed and Politics defined the society of speed; The Aesthetics of Disappearance defines what it feels like to live in the society of speed.
"I always write with images," Virilio has claimed, and this statement is nowhere better illustrated than with The Aesthetics of Disappearance. Moving from the movie theater to the freeway, and from Craig Breedlove's attainment of terrifying speed in a rocket-power car to the immobility of Howard Hughes in his dark room atop the Desert Inn, Virilio himself jump cuts from such disparate reference points as Fred Astaire, Franz Liszt, and Adolf Loos to Dostoyevsky, Paul Morand, and Aldous Huxley. In its extension of the "aesthetics of disappearance" to war, film, and politics, this book paved the way to Virilio's follow-up: the celebrated study, War and Cinema.
This edition features a new introduction by Jonathan Crary, one of the leading theorists of modern visual culture.
Foreign Agents series
Distributed for Semiotext(e)
According to Peter Sloterdijk, the twentieth century started on a specific day and place: April 22, 1915, at Ypres in Northern France. That day, the German army used a chlorine gas meant to exterminate indiscriminately. Until then, war, as described by Clausewitz and practiced by Napoleon, involved attacking the adversary's vital function first. Using poison gas signaled the passage from classical war to terrorism. This terror from the air inaugurated an era in which the main idea was no longer to target the enemy's body, but their environment. From then on, what would be attacked in wartime as well as in peacetime would be the very conditions necessary for life.
This kind of terrorism became the matrix of modern and postmodern war, from World War I's toxic gas to the Nazi Zyklon B used in Auschwitz, from the bombing of Dresden to the attack on the World Trade Center. Sloterdijk goes on to describe the offensive of modern aesthetics, aesthetic terrorism from Surrealism to Malevich—an "atmo-terrorism" in the arts that parallels the assault on environment that had originated in warfare.
Foreign Agents series Distributed for Semiotext(e)
An autobiographical novel by turn naïve and cunning, funny and moving, this most recent work by Moroccan expatriate Abdellah Taïa is a major addition to the new French literature emerging from the North African Arabic diaspora. Salvation Army is a coming-of-age novel that tells the story of Taïa's life with complete disclosure—from a childhood bound by family order and latent (homo)sexual tensions in the poor city of Salé, through a sexual awakening in Tangier charged by the young writer's attraction to his eldest brother, to a disappointing arrival in the Western world to study in Geneva in adulthood. In so doing, Salvation Army manages to burn through the author's first-person singularity to embody the complex mélange of fear and desire projected by Arabs on Western culture.
Recently hailed by his native country's press as "the first Moroccan to have the courage to publicly assert his difference," Taïa, through his calmly transgressive work, has "outed" himself as "the only gay man" in a country whose theocratic law still declares homosexuality a crime. The persistence of prejudices on all sides of the Mediterranean and Atlantic makes the translation of Taïa's work both a literary and political event. The arrival of Salvation Army (published in French in 2006) in English will be welcomed by an American audience already familiar with a growing cadre of talented Arab writers working in French (including Muhammad Dib, Assia Djebar, Tahar Ben Jelloun, Abdelkebir Khatibi, and Kātib Yāsīn).
Published by Semiotext(e) in 2005, Mark von Schlegell's debut novel Venusia was hailed in the sci-fi and literary worlds as a "breathtaking excursion" and "heady kaleidoscopic trip," establishing him as an important practitioner of vanguard science fiction. Mercury Station, the second book in Von Schlegell's System Series, continues the journey into a dystopian literary future.
It is 2150. Eddard J. Ryan was born in a laboratory off Luna City, an orphan raised by the Black Rose Army, a radical post-Earth Irish revolutionary movement. But his first bombing went wrong and he's been stuck in a borstal on Mercury for decades. System Space has collapsed and most of human civilization with it, but Eddie Ryan and his fellow prisoners continue to suffer the remote-control domination of the borstal and its condescending central authority, the qompURE MERKUR, programmed to treat them as adolescents.
Yet things could be worse. With little human supervision, the qompURE can be fooled. There's food and whiskey, and best of all, the girl of Eddie Ryan's dreams, his long-time friend and comrade Koré McAllister, is in the same prison. When his old boss, rich and eccentric chrononaut Count Reginald Skaw shows up in orbit with an entire interstation cruiser at his disposal, there's even the possibility of escape ... back in time.
Like Venusia, Mercury Station tells a compelling story, drawn through a labyrinth of future-history sci-fi, medieval hard fantasy, and cascading samplings of high and low culture. The book is a brilliant literary assault against the singularity of self and its imprisonment in Einsteinian spacetime.
Yesterday, the police interrogated me at length about the journal and the Situationist organization. It was only a beginning. This is, I think, one of the principle threats that came up quickly during the discussion: the police want to regard the SI as an association in order to set about its dissolution in France. I protested, emphasizing that the artistic movement was never legally constituted by moral individuals in a declared association. Not being constituted, the SI cannot be officially dissolved, but they tried to intimidate us heavily. It seems they take us for gangsters!
This volume traces the dynamic first years of the Situationist International movement—a cultural avant-garde that continues to inspire new generations of artists, theorists, and writers more than half a century later. Debord's letters—published here for the first time in English—provide a fascinating insider's view of just how this seemingly disorganized group drifting around a newly consumerized Paris became one of the most defining cultural movements of the twentieth century. Circumstances, personalities, and ambitions all come into play as the group develops its strategy of anarchic, conceptual, but highly political "intervention."
Brilliantly conceived, this collection of letters offers the best available introduction to the Situationist International movement by detailing, through original documents, how the group formed and defined its cultural mission: to bring about, "by any means possible, even artistic," a complete transformation of personal life within the Society of the Spectacle.
Chaosophy is an introduction to Félix Guattari's groundbreaking theories of "schizo-analysis": a process meant to replace Freudian interpretation with a more pragmatic, experimental, and collective approach rooted in reality. Unlike Freud, who utilized neuroses as his working model, Guattari adopted the model of schizophrenia—which he believed to be an extreme mental state induced by the capitalist system itself, and one that enforces neurosis as a way of maintaining normality. Guattari's post-Marxist vision of capitalism provides a new definition not only of mental illness, but also of the micropolitical means for its subversion.
Chaosophy includes Guattari's writings and interviews on the cinema (such as "Cinema Fou" and "The Poor Man's Couch"), a group of texts on his collaborative work with Gilles Deleuze (including the appendix to the second edition of Anti-Oedipus, not available in the English edition), and his texts on homosexuality (including his "Letter to the Tribunal" addressing the French government's censorship of the special gay issue of Recherches he edited, which earned him a fine for publishing "a detailed exposition of depravity and sexual deviations… the libidinous exhibition of a minority of perverts"). This expanded edition features a new introduction by François Dosse (author of a new biography of Guattari and Gilles Deleuze), along with a range of added essays—including "The Plane of Consistency," "Machinic Propositions," "Gangs in New York," and "Three Billion Perverts on the Stand"—nearly doubling the contents of the original edition.
"What do you do, exactly? I have no idea."
"I reify," he answered.
"It's a serious job," I added.
"Yes, it is," he said.
"I see," Carol observed with admiration. "Serious work, with big books and a big table cluttered with papers."
"No," said Gilles. "I walk. Mostly I walk."
—from All the King's Horses
Michèle Bernstein's novel, All the King’s Horses (1960), is one of the odder and more elusive, entertaining, and revealing documents of the Situationist International. At the instigation of her first husband, Guy Debord, Bernstein agreed to write a potboiler to help swell the Situationist International's coffers. When she objected to the idea of practicing a "dead art," Debord suggested that it would be instead be détournement—the Situationist reuse of media toward different, subversive, ends.
Inspired by the pseudo-scandalous success of Roger Vadim's filmed version of Choderlos de Laclos's Les Liaisons dangereuses and the adolescent Françoise Sagan's bestselling novel Bonjour tristesse, Bernstein lampooned and borrowed from both Sagan and de Laclos, concocting a roman à clef that succeeded on several levels. A moneymaker for the most radical front of the French avant-garde, the novel (by its very success) demonstrated the bankruptcy of contemporary French letters and the Situationist contempt for the psychological novel, while (perhaps unintentionally) holding up a playful mirror to the private lives of two of the Situationist International's most important members. All the King's Horses is a slippery rewrite of Dangerous Liaisons with Debord playing the role of cold libertine, Bernstein as his cohort, and disguised walk-on roles by the likes of the painter Asger Jorn and others.
Though Greil Marcus sparked interest in this novel in his 1989 book Lipstick Traces, All the King's Horses remained unavailable until its 2004 republication in France. This Semiotext(e) edition is its first translation into English.
The Swiss-Italian economist Christian Marazzi is one of the core theorists of the Italian postfordist movement, along with Antonio Negri, Paolo Virno, and Bifo (Franco Berardi). But although his work is often cited by scholars (particularly by those in the field of "Cognitive Capitalism"), his writing has never appeared in English. This translation of his most recent work, Capital and Language (published in Italian in 2002), finally makes Marazzi's work available to an English-speaking audience.
Capital and Language takes as its starting point the fact that the extreme volatility of financial markets is generally attributed to the discrepancy between the "real economy" (that of material goods produced and sold) and the more speculative monetary-financial economy. But this distinction has long ceased to apply in the postfordist New Economy, in which both spheres are structurally affected by language and communication. In Capital and Language Marazzi argues that the changes in financial markets and the transformation of labor into immaterial labor (that is, its reliance on abstract knowledge, general intellect, and social cooperation) are just two sides of the same coin.
Capital and Language focuses on the causes behind the international economic and financial depression of 2001, and on the primary instrument that the U.S. government has since been using to face them: war. Marazzi points to capitalism’s fourth stage (after mercantilism, industrialism, and the postfordist culmination of the New Economy): the "War Economy" that is already upon us.
Marazzi offers a radical new understanding of the current international economic stage and crucial post-Marxist guidance for confronting capitalism in its newest form. Capital and Language also provides a warning call to a Left still nostalgic for a Fordist construct—a time before factory turned into office (and office into home), and before labor became linguistic.
This introduction and commentary to Kant's least discussed work, Anthropology from a Pragmatic Point of View, is the dissertation that Michel Foucault presented in 1961 as his doctoral thesis. It has remained unpublished, in any language, until now.
In his exegesis and critical interpretation of Kant's Anthropology, Foucault raises the question of the relation between psychology and anthropology, and how they are affected by time. Through a Kantian "critique of the anthropological slumber," Foucault warns against the dangers of treating psychology as a new metaphysics, explores the possibilities of studying man empirically, and reflects on the nature of time, art and technique, self-perception, and language. Extending Kant's suggestion that any empirical knowledge of man is inextricably tied up with language, Foucault asserts that man is a world citizen insofar as he speaks. For both Kant and Foucault, anthropology concerns not the human animal or self-consciousness but, rather, involves the questioning of the limits of human knowledge and concrete existence.
This long-unknown text is a valuable contribution not only to a scholarly appreciation of Kant's work but as the first outline of what would later become Foucault's own frame of reference within the history of philosophy. It is thus a definitive statement of Foucault's relation to Kant as well as Foucault's relation to the critical tradition of philosophy. By going to the heart of the debate on structuralist anthropology and the status of the human sciences in relation to finitude, Foucault also creates something of a prologue to his foundational The Order of Things.
As celebrated as it is reviled, internationally acclaimed filmmaker Catherine Breillat's novel Pornocracy viscerally enacts the dramatic confluence of mystery, desire, and shame that lies at the heart of sexuality. In Pornocracy, a beautiful woman wanders through a gay disco and engages a man, confident that he will follow her. Perversely and dispassionately, she offers her body as the ground of a ritualistic game in which, over the course of three evenings, the two will explore the numbing mechanics of sexual brutality. What follows is an exchange between a man and a woman that is both frankly sexual and deeply philosophical.
Adapted and directed for film in France by Breillat as Anatomy of Hell (2004), Pornocracy leads the reader through an undulating and atmospheric exploration of the criminal and the erotic, finally climaxing in a place well beyond more familiar moral terrain. Although Breillat's films—most recently Fat Girl (2001) and Romance (1999)—are well known to international audiences, this publication marks her literary debut in America. It will demonstrate that Breillat's famous films are but one aspect of her strikingly original poetic and philosophical vision.
Includes an interview with Catherine Breillat by Dorna Khazeni.
In 2004 and 2005, Antonio Negri held ten workshops at the Collège International de Philosophie in Paris to formulate a new political grammar of the postmodern. Biopolitics, biopowers, control, the multitude, people, war, borders, dependency and interdependency, state, nation, the common, difference, resistance, subjective rights, revolution, freedom, democracy: these are just a few of the themes Negri addressed in these experimental laboratories.
Postmodernity, Negri suggests, can be described as a "porcelain workshop": a delicate and fragile construction that could be destroyed through one clumsy act. Looking across twentieth century history, Negri warns that our inability to anticipate future developments has already placed coming generations in serious jeopardy. Describing the years 1917-1968 as the "short century," Negri suggests that by the end of it, all of the familiar markers of modernity (including that of socialism) had lost their relevance.
Confronted with an intolerable reality, indignation and the revolutionary will to transform the world have both taken new forms and must be understood anew, free of modernist assumptions. In the impassioned debates recounted in this book, Antonio Negri attempts to describe the formation of an alternative political horizon and looks for a way to define the practices and modes of expression that democracy could take.
The publication of Paolo Virno's first book in English, A Grammar of the Multitude, by Semiotext(e) in 2004 was an event within the field of radical political thought and introduced post-'68 currents in Italy to American readers. Multitude between Innovation and Negativity, written several years later, offers three essays that take the reader on a journey through the political philosophy of language.
"Wit and Innovative Action" explores the ambivalence inevitably arising when the semiotic and the semantic, grammar and experience, rule and regularity, and right and fact intersect. Virno unravels the infinite potential and wonders of everyday linguistic praxis and ambiguity. Wit, he argues, is a public performance, and its modus operandi characterizes human action in a state of emergency; it is a reaction, an articulate response, and a possible solution to a state of crisis. "Mirror Neurons, Linguistic Negation, and Mutual Recognition" examines the relationship of language and intersubjective empathy: without language, would human beings be able to recognize other members of their species? And finally, in "Multitude and Evil," Virno challenges the distinction between the state of nature and civil society and argues for a political institution that resembles language in its ability to be at once nature and history.
Few thinkers take the risks required by innovation. Like a philosophical entrepreneur, Virno is engaged in no less than rewriting the dictionary of political theory, an urgent and ambitious project when language, caught in a permanent state of emergency impossible to sustain, desperately needs to articulate and enact new practices of freedom for the multitude.
with a new introduction by Sylvere Lotringer and Paul Virilio
In June 2007, Paul Virilio and Sylvère Lotringer met in La Rochelle, France to reconsider the premises they had developed twenty-five years before in their frighteningly prescient classic, Pure War.Pure War described the invisible war waged by technology against humanity, and the lack of any real distinction since World War II between war and peace. Speaking with Lotringer in 1982, Virilio noted the "accidents" that inevitably arise with every technological development: from car crashes to nuclear spillage, to the extermination of space and the derealization of time wrought by instant communication.
In this new and updated edition, Virilio and Lotringer consider how the omnipresent threat of the "accident"—both military and economic—has escalated. With the fall of the Soviet bloc, the balance of power between East and West based on nuclear deterrence has given way to a more diffuse multi-polar nuclear threat. Moreover, as the speed of communication has increased exponentially, "local" accidents—like the collapse of the Asian markets in the late 1980s—escalate, with the speed of contagion, into global events instantaneously. "Globalization," Virilio argues, is the planet's ultimate accident.
Alterity is in danger. It is a masterpiece in peril, an object lost or missing from our system, from the system of artificial intelligence and the system of communication in general.
—from Radical Alterity
Where is the Other today? Can Otherness challenge our arrogant, insular cultural narcissism? From artificial intelligence to the streets of Venice, from early explorers to contemporary photographers, Jean Baudrillard and Marc Guillaume discuss the traces of radical alterity in our world. These provocative seminars, held in 1990 and 1991, follow the multiple, intertwined trajectories first projected in Baudrillard's work and his reading of the "radical exoticism" posited by Victor Segalen—ideas Baudrillard extends into the realms of mass media, pseudonyms, technology, and that illusorily close yet radically foreign "primitive society of the future," America.
In a world where no corner is unexplored, the Other remains a challenge to thought, a crack in the shell of universal understanding, impossible to communicate but potentially the linchpin of communication itself. Together, Baudrillard and Guillaume explore the threatened and fatal figures of radical alterity.
This collection is no longer available in French, and this English edition includes an additional essay by Baudrillard, "Because Illusion and Reality Are Not Opposed."
When Fatal Strategies was first published in French in 1983, it represented a turning point for Jean Baudrillard: an utterly original, and for many readers, utterly bizarre book that offered a theory as proliferative, ecstatic, and hallucinatory as the postmodern world it endeavored to describe. Arguing against the predetermined outcomes of dialectical thought with his renowned, wry, ambivalent passion, with this volume Jean Baudrillard mounted an attack against the "false problems" posed by Western philosophy. If his Marxist days were firmly behind him, Baudrillard here indicated that metaphysics had also gone the way of sociology and politics: the contemporary world demanded nothing less than Pataphysics, Alfred Jarry's absurdist philosophy that described the laws of the universe supplementary to this one. In effect, with Fatal Strategies, Baudrillard became Baudrillard.
In his extrapolationist manner, Baudrillard sought to replace Western philosophy's circular arguments with a ritualistic Theater of Cruelty. Using this line of thought developed in Fatal Strategies, Baudrillard went on, throughout the 1980s, to find new and shatteringly accurate ways of discussing American corporatocracy, arms build-up, and hostage taking. Fatal Strategies asserts a profound critique of American politics, and it is an important step towards his examination of evil.
Yes, I believe that there is a multiple people, a people of mutants, a people of potentialities that appears and disappears, that is embodied in social, literary, and musical events.... I think that we're in a period of productivity, proliferation, creation, utterly fabulous revolutions from the viewpoint of this emergence of a people. That's molecular revolution: it isn't a slogan or a program, it's something that I feel, that I live....
—from Molecular Revolution in Brazil
Following Brazil's first democratic election after two decades of military dictatorship, French philosopher Félix Guattari traveled through Brazil in 1982 with Brazilian psychoanalyst Suely Rolnik and discovered an exciting, new political vitality. In the infancy of its new republic, Brazil was moving against traditional hierarchies of control and totalitarian regimes and founding a revolution of ideas and politics. Molecular Revolution in Brazil documents the conversations, discussions, and debates that arose during the trip, including a dialogue between Guattari and Brazil's future President Luis Ignacia Lula da Silva, then a young gubernatorial candidate. Through these exchanges, Guattari cuts through to the shadowy practices of globalization gone awry and boldly charts a revolution in practice.
Assembled and edited by Rolnik, Molecular Revolution in Brazil is organized thematically; aphoristic at times, it presents a lesser-known, more overtly political aspect of Guattari's work. Originally published in Brazil in 1986 as Micropolitica: Cartografias do desejo, the book became a crucial reference for political movements in Brazil in the 1980s and 1990s. It now provides English-speaking readers with an invaluable picture of the radical thought and optimism that lies at the root of Lula's Brazil.
with a new introduction by Sylvère Lotringer, "In the Shadow of the Red Brigades"
Most of the writers who contributed to the issue were locked up at the time in Italian jails.... I was trying to draw the attention of the American Left, which still believed in Eurocommunism, to the fate of Autonomia. The survival of the last politically creative movement in the West was at stake, but no one in the United States seemed to realize that, or be willing to listen. Put together as events in Italy were unfolding, the Autonomia issue—which has no equivalent in Italy, or anywhere for that matter—arrived too late, but it remains an energizing account of a movement that disappeared without bearing a trace, but with a big future still ahead of it.
Semiotext(e) is reissuing in book form its legendary magazine issue Autonomia: Post-Political Politics, originally published in New York in 1980. Edited by Sylvère Lotringer and Christian Marazzi with the direct participation of the main leaders and theorists of the Autonomist movement (including Antonio Negri, Mario Tronti, Franco Piperno, Oreste Scalzone, Paolo Virno, Sergio Bologna, and Franco Berardi), this volume is the only first-hand document and contemporaneous analysis that exists of the most innovative post-'68 radical movement in the West. The movement itself was broken when Autonomia members were falsely accused of (and prosecuted for) being the intellectual masterminds of the Red Brigades; but even after the end of Autonomia, this book remains a crucial testimony of the way this creative, futuristic, neo-anarchistic, postideological, and nonrepresentative political movement of young workers and intellectuals anticipated issues that are now confronting us in the wake of Empire. In the next two years, Semiotext(e) will publish eight books by such Italian "Post-Fordist" intellectuals as Antonio Negri, Christian Marazzi, Paolo Virno, and Bifo, as they update the theories of Autonomia for the new century.
Why is pleasure "doubled" when it's "shared"? ... Do you really have to cut pleasure in two so that it'll exist? I mean, if it's doubled when there are two of you, then it must be tripled when there are three, quadrupled when there are four, centupled when there are a hundred, right? Is it O.K. for a hundred to share? And if I get used to trying it all alone, why is it that I'll never love anyone again? Is it that good alone and that awful with others?
—from Good Sex Illustrated
First published in France in 1973, Good Sex Illustrated gleefully deciphers the subtext of a popular sex education manual for children produced during that period. In so doing, Duvert mounts a scabrous and scathing critique of how deftly the "sex-positive" ethos was harnessed to promote the ideal of the nuclear family. Like Michel Houllebecq, Duvert is highly attuned to all the hypocrisies of late twentieth century western "sexual liberation" mass movements. As Bruce Benderson notes in his introduction, Good Sex Illustrated shows that, "in our sexual order, orgasm follows the patterns of any other kind of capital ... 'good sex' is a voracious profit machine." But unlike Houllebecq, Duvert writes from a passionate belief in the integrity of unpoliced sex and of pleasure. Even more controversially now than when the book was first published, Duvert asserts the child's right to his or her own playful, unproductive sexuality. Bruce Benderson's translation will belatedly introduce English-speaking audiences to the most infamous gay French writer since Jean Gênet.
People tend to confuse winning freedom with conversion to capitalism. It is doubtful that the joys of capitalism are enough to free peoples.... The American "revolution" failed long ago, long before the Soviet one. Revolutionary situations and attempts are born of capitalism itself and will not soon disappear, alas. Philosophy remains tied to a revolutionary becoming that is not to be confused with the history of revolutions.
—from Two Regimes of Madness
Covering the last twenty years of Gilles Deleuze's life (1975-1995), the texts and interviews gathered in this volume complete those collected in Desert Islands and Other Texts (1953-1974) . This period saw the publication of his major works: A Thousand Plateaus (1980), Cinema I: Image-Movement (1983), Cinema II: Image-Time (1985), all leading through language, concept and art to What is Philosophy? (1991). Two Regimes of Madness also documents Deleuze's increasing involvement with politics (with Toni Negri, for example, the Italian philosopher and professor accused of associating with the Red Brigades). Both volumes were conceived by the author himself and will be his last. Michel Foucault famously wrote: "One day, perhaps, this century will be Deleuzian." This book provides a prodigious entry into the work of the most important philosopher of our time. Unlike Foucault, Deleuze never stopped digging further into the same furrow. Concepts for him came from life. He was a vitalist and remained one to the last.
This edition restores the full text of the original French edition.
... as I poured my father's ashes into a big Ziploc bag, a little of my blood dripped in. I thought about how each cell has all of you fully inscribed in it, so that if I left those drops in there, it would be as if I were already dead too. I plunged in then, to try and get myself out, but it was all so sticky that I had to give up; when I pulled out my hand, parts of my father were stuck all over it ...
—from twin time
Poetic, sensuous and witty, Veronica Gonzalez's debut novel unfolds like a fairy tale spanning the dusty hills of Los Angeles and the glittering nightlife of Mexico City. Raised in northeast LA by her widowed immigrant father, a baker, Mona has grown up believing her mother died minutes after her birth, and her twin brother was simply given away. Stifled by unnamable doubts as a child, when her father dies, Mona sets off on a quest to discover her long-lost twin brother. The journey takes he into the labyrinth of her own fabulations about her parents' lives, and a dreamy Mexico City that exists only as cultural imagination. In the process she encounters a band of Nordic men, her Chinese double, a lascivious giant, and a tribe of feral children. Gonzalez masterfully probes the oddness of Mona's interior world until it becomes a twisted parable for all kinds of displacement.
Gerald Raunig has written an alternative art history of the "long twentieth century," from the Paris Commune of 1871 to the turbulent counter-globalization protests in Genoa in 2001. Meticulously moving from the Situationists and Sergei Eisenstein to Viennese Actionism and the PublixTheatreCaravan, Art and Revolution takes on the history of revolutionary transgressions and optimistically charts an emergence from its tales of tragic failure and unequivocal disaster. By eloquently applying Deleuze and Guattari's idea of the "machine," Raunig extends the poststructuralist theory of revolution through to the explosive nexus of art and activism.
As hopeful as it is incisive, Art and Revolution encourages a new generation of artists and thinkers to refuse to participate in the tired prescriptions of marketplace and authority and instead create radical new methods of engagement. Raunig develops an indispensable, contemporary conception of political change—a conception that transcends the outmoded formulations of insurrection and resistance. Too much blood and ink has been shed for the art machines and the revolutionary machines to remain separate.
Published by Semiotext(e) to critical acclaim in 1998, Michelle Tea's debut novel The Passionate Mistakes and Intricate Corruption of One Girl in America quickly established Tea as an exciting new literary talent and the voice of a new generation of queer, bisexual, transgendered, and straight youth. The Village Voice called Passionate Mistakes "the legacy of thirty years of feminism," and Eileen Myles, writing in the Nation, hailed the novel as "a hunk of lyric information that coolly, then frantically, describes the car wreck of her generation."
The too-smart, caustic, and radiant narrator of Passionate Mistakes is, at twenty-seven, an ex-Goth, ex-drummer, ex-straight girl, ex-lesbian separatist vegan graduate of vocational high school in the working class town of Chelsea, Massachusetts. Written with lyrical precision and charm, the novel describes a journey with no final destination, a fast-paced and picaresque road trip that yields a redemptive vision of an America that has nothing left to offer its youth.
This new edition of a Semiotext(e) classic includes critical essays by Brandon Stosuy and Eileen Myles that describe Michelle Tea's achievement as a literary innovator and cultural icon.
Published one year after Forget Foucault,In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities (1978) may be the most important sociopolitical manifesto of the twentieth century: it calls for nothing less than the end of both sociology and politics. Disenfranchised revolutionaries (the Red Brigades, the Baader-Meinhof Gang) hoped to reach the masses directly through spectacular actions, but their message merely played into the hands of the media and the state. In a media society meaning has no meaning anymore; communication merely communicates itself. Jean Baudrillard uses this last outburst of ideological terrorism in Europe to showcase the end of the "Social." Once invoked by Marx as the motor of history, the masses no longer have sociological reality. In the electronic media society, all the masses can do—and all they will do—is enjoy the spectacle. In the Shadow of the Silent Majorities takes to its ultimate conclusion the "end of ideologies" experienced in Europe after the Soviet invasion of Hungary and the death of revolutionary illusions after May 1968. Ideological terrorism doesn't represent anything anymore, writes Baudrillard, not even itself. It is just the last hysterical reaction to discredited political illusions.