Guy Hocquenghem

Guy Hocquenghem (1946-1988), essayist and activist, is often considered the father of Queer theory. He was the author of Homosexual Desire (1972) and L'Amour en relief (1982). The Screwball Asses is his first work available from Semiotext(e).

  • The Screwball Asses

    The Screwball Asses

    Guy Hocquenghem

    A founder of Queer theory contends that the ruling classes have invented homosexuality as a sexual ghetto, splitting and mutilating desire in the process.

    Alone in his forest dwelling, an ogre had spent years building machines to force his visitors to make love to one another: machines with pulleys, chains, clocks, collars, leather leggings, metal breastplates, oscillatory, pendular, or rotating dildos. One day, some adolescents who had lost their way, seven or eight brothers, entered the ogre's house...—From The Screwball Asses

    Our asshole is revolutionary.—Guy Hocquenghem

    Workers of the world, masturbate!—Front Homosexuel d'Action Revolutionnaire slogan

    First published anonymously in Félix Guattari's Recherches in the notorious 1973 issue on homosexuality (seized and destroyed by the French government), The Screwball Asses remains a dramatic treatise on erotic desire. In this classic underground text, queer theorist and post-'68 provocateur Guy Hocquenghem takes on the militant delusions of the gay liberation movement. Hocquenghem, founder and leader of the Front Homosexuel d'Action Revolutionnaire, vivisects not only the stifled mores of bourgeois capitalism but the phallocratic concessions of so-called homophiles, and, ultimately, the very act of speaking desire (and non-desire). Rejecting any “pure theory” of homosexuality that claims its “otherness” as a morphology of revolution, he contends that the ruling classes have invented homosexuality as a sexual ghetto, splitting and mutilating desire in the process. It is only when non-desire 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 Hocquenghem, but only one sexual desire. Available in English for the first time, The Screwball Asses is a revelatory disquisition, earning Hocquenghem his rightful place among the minoritarian elite of Gilles Deleuze, Jean Genet, and Tony Duvert.

    • Paperback $13.95

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  • Schizo-Culture, 2-vol. set

    Schizo-Culture, 2-vol. set

    The Event, The Book

    Sylvère Lotringer and David Morris

    Never-before-published lectures, Q&As, and squabbles from the conference that introduced French theory into America, with a facsimile of the journal issue that emerged from it.

    I think “schizo-culture” here is being used rather in a special sense. Not referring to clinical schizophrenia, but to the fact that the culture is divided up into all sorts of classes and groups, etc., and that some of the old lines are breaking down. And that this is a healthy sign. —William Burroughs, from Schizo-Culture

    The legendary 1975 “Schizo-Culture” conference, conceived by the early Semiotext(e) collective, began as an attempt to introduce the then-unknown radical philosophies of post-'68 France to the American avant-garde. The event featured a series of seminal papers, from Deleuze's first presentation of the concept of the “rhizome” to Foucault's introduction of his History of Sexuality project. The conference was equally important on a political level, and brought together a diverse group of activists, thinkers, patients, and ex-cons in order to address the challenge of penal and psychiatric institutions. The combination proved to be explosive, but amid the fighting and confusion “Schizo-Culture” revealed deep ruptures in left politics, French thought, and American culture.

    The “Schizo-Culture” issue of the Semiotext(e) journal came three years later. Designed by a group of artists and filmmakers including Kathryn Bigelow and Denise Green, it documented the chaotic creativity of an emerging downtown New York scene, and offered interviews with artists, theorists, writers, and No Wave and pre-punk musicians together with new texts from Deleuze, Foucault, R. D. Laing, and other conference participants.

    This slip-cased edition includes The Book: 1978, a facsimile reproduction of the original Schizo-Culture publication; and The Event: 1975, a previously unpublished and comprehensive record of the conference that set it all off. It assembles many previously unpublished texts, including a detailed selection of interviews reconstructing the events, and features Félix Guattari, William Burroughs, Kathy Acker, Michel Foucault, Sylvère Lotringer, Guy Hocquenghem, Gilles Deleuze, John Rajchman, Robert Wilson, Joel Kovel, Jack Smith, Jean-François Lyotard, Ti-Grace Atkinson, François Peraldi, and John Cage.

    • Paperback $39.95
  • Hatred of Capitalism

    Hatred of Capitalism

    A Semiotext(e) Reader

    Chris Kraus and Sylvère Lotringer

    Jean Baudrillard meets Cookie Mueller in this gathering of French theory and new American fiction.

    Compiled in 2001 to commemorate the passing of an era, Hatred of Capitalism brings together highlights of Semiotext(e)'s most beloved and prescient works. Semiotext(e)'s three-decade history mirrors the history of American thought. Founded by French theorist and critic Sylvere Lotringer as a scholarly journal in 1974, Semiotext(e) quickly took on the mission of melding French theory with the American art world and punk underground. Its Foreign Agents, Native Agents, Active Agents and Double Agents imprints have brought together thinkers and writers as diverse as Gilles Deleuze, Assata Shakur, Bob Flanagan, Paul Virillio, Kate Millet, Jean Baudrillard, Michelle Tea, William S. Burroughs, Eileen Myles, Ulrike Meinhof, and Fanny Howe. In Hatred of Capitalism, editors Kraus and Lotringer bring these people together in the same volume for the first time.

    • Paperback $19.95
  • Polysexuality

    Polysexuality

    François Peraldi

    Mixing documents, interviews, fiction, theory, poetry, psychiatry and anthropology, "Polysexuality" became the encyclopedia sexualis of a continent that is still emerging.

    Originally conceived as a special Semiotext(e) issue on homosexuality at the end of the 70s, “Polysexuality" quickly evolved into a more complex and iconoclastic project whose intent was to do away with recognized genders altogether, considered far too limitative. The project landed somewhere between humor, anarchy, science-fiction, utopia and apocalypse. In the few years that it took to put it together, it also evolved from a joyous schizo concept to a darker, neo-Lacanian elaboration on the impossibility of sexuality. The tension between the two, occasionally perceptible, is the theoretical subtext of the issue. Upping the ante on gender distinctions, "Polysexuality" started by blowing wide open all sexual classifications, inventing unheard-of categories, regrouping singular features into often original configurations, like Corporate Sex, Alimentary Sex, Soft or Violent Sex, Discursive Sex, Self- Sex, Animal Sex, Child Sex, Morbid Sex, or Sex of the Gaze. Mixing documents, interviews, fiction, theory, poetry, psychiatry and anthropology, "Polysexuality" became the encyclopedia sexualis of a continent that is still emerging. What it displayed in all its forms could be called, broadly speaking, the Sexuality of Capital. (Actually the issue being rather hot, it was decided to cool it off somewhat by only using “capitals” throughout the issue. It was also the first issue for which we used the computer). The "Polysexuality" issue was attacked in Congress for its alleged advocation of animal sex. Includes work by Alain Robbe-Grillet, Félix Guattari, Paul Verlaine, William S. Burroughs, Georges Bataille, Pierre Klossowski, Roland Barthes, Paul Virilio, Peter Lamborn Wilson, and more.

    • Paperback $45.00