beiser

Well-known member
doesn't seem to be a thread on them, am sure there are some good takes here

my conclusion after substantial rumination is that Lotringer and Kraus cannot be understood other than as landlords, and semiotext(e) is terribly straightforward ploy to translate a stream of revenue derived from rent into leftist cultural capital. they are, therefore, capitalists, even though semiotext(e) is surely not an especially profitable venture (or is it? How many copies of "The Coming Insurrection" have been sold?)

The "Invisible Committee" shtick is particularly telling—the Committee promises an eschatology that is explicitly decelerationist, and therefore quasi-feudal. Destroy all the infrastructure you like—you still own the land, you still get paid the rent…
 

version

Well-known member
Always liked the covers, but that's about as far as my engagement extends. @john eden mentioned reading a few a while back.

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catalog

Well-known member
I also really liked Atta by Jarett Kobek but don't think I've read anything else. And one of the reasons I love dick is so good is cos she sort of lifts the lid on how much of a farce it all was
 

suspended

Well-known member
well first of all
 

suspended

Well-known member
those stories about how 50 y/o Sylvere still flies to France to visit his mom when he needs money, and then carries it under his suit duct-taped to his body or some shit, maybe he's got a money belt I forget
 

suspended

Well-known member
Chris Kraus has some good books and some pretty good essays on art, based and bluepilled.

Haven't engaged much with Lotringer's work other than knowing his publishing reputation, + reading the Myths interview he did with Kathy, + a book he edited/wrote a forward to of David Wojnarowicz's tape transcriptions
 

suspended

Well-known member
There's something very sadomasochistic about their relationship surrounding her GI issues. Like Phantom Thread-type stuff, the mushrooms and care. He goes off and has all these affairs with young New York organizers and she gets GI stuff from the stress and then he cares for her lovingly in the bathtub while she shits, it's beautiful
 

catalog

Well-known member
I really enjoyed I love dick, just seemed to have the right amount of everything. Then I read torpor and it was a bit too grim, I started the other one, angels in America is it called? And it seemed OK but then I lost interest cos it was a PDF and too hard to read. Torpor has a bit all about sylveres Jewishness/holocaust guilt/trauma but there's nothing really holding it together as a story, whereas what makes I love dick so good is how high the stakes are for the while thing and then the ending is really quite poignant/sad. But outside of the story world of the book, you do have to wonder about how completely mental these people are.
 

luka

Well-known member
It's interesting to look back at their '80s fanzines the last moment there was a counter culture canon, fairly disparate, Burroughs, Ballard, Foucault, Deleuze, Robert Anton Wilson, Genesis P.orrige. Probably a naive attitude towards 'transgression'. The limits of thought experience ways of life. Here's BDSM drug use French theory feminism. It's better than what we have now in many ways although parts of it seems quaint, naive, possibly sinister.
 

luka

Well-known member
I don't know anything about the publishers themselves but I am interested in the materials assembled and what they signified and why that has become impossible. Why there aren't writers like that now and so on.
 

Mr. Tea

Shub-Niggurath, Please
I want to kill that stupid, precious little "(e)". Is it meant to be there or not? STOP "REVELLING IN AMBUGUITY" AND MAKE A FUCKING DECISION.
 

catalog

Well-known member
their whole thing is that they took d&g and assorted others to america isn't it? basically broke them into the american academy but decided to do it as little indie books rather than as peer reviewed papers, and then added a different dimension and published fiction and other stuff. i know the tiqqun book was influential - inga copeland talks about it somewhere i think. then it's just a case of them getting fed up with one another and not being able to make any actual money out of all their art. kraus is pretty good on this in i love dick, talking about how much of a slog it was to make her films that no one watched anyway.

pretty standard story in a lot of ways, you get into something for good reasons and dedicate your life to it, then realise it's a massive pain in the arse, you hate everyone else involved, plus it's made you skint, so you go work for the man, or in their case, become landlords.
 

catalog

Well-known member
I want to kill that stupid, precious little "(e)". Is it meant to be there or not? STOP "REVELLING IN AMBUGUITY" AND MAKE A FUCKING DECISION.
obviously very important tea - i guess a nod to derrida or someone, maybe craner can explain
 

john eden

male pale and stale
In the 80s I'd go to Compendium in Camden and buy mad occult books and fiction upstairs and also political mags and books downstairs. They always had a small row of impossibly cool black books on the basement counter.

The impossibly cool black books were also to be found on impossibly cool people's bookshelves. People who understood all this stuff. Sometimes I'd open one of them up and read some absolutely incomprehensible paragraphs. And then put them back.

And sometimes I'd ask people what these things meant or what they got out of them and I wouldn't understand their answers. Sometimes they'd say, confessionaly, that it didn't matter if you understood it, you could just let it all wash over you like poetry and take from it what you could.

Which was annoying and frustrating. And quite funny actually, in retrospect, like that Tony Hancock episode where he joins a poetry club.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
I read in an interview somewhere that they wanted the small black books to fit into the pocket of a leather jacket.

Their audience was arty/philosophy types for sure.

But they have translated some good stuff - a lot of the Italian and German hardcore communist shiz.

I picked up a few of them over the last few years and it is very varied and some of it is nonsense but some of it is good for sure.
 

john eden

male pale and stale
@beiser raises a good point about the landlordism, this interview is nuts:

BLVR: Finally, I want to ask you if you have real estate advice—because I think it’s ingenious to try to make money in a separate realm from your creative work, as you’ve done. Not only because it makes sense on a financial level, but because you absorb a world that you wouldn’t otherwise absorb.

CK: Yes. It’s tremendously interesting, and people are less petty there than in the art world, because it’s just about numbers. At one point, instead of getting a tenure-track job, I decided to make real estate investments and operate these properties as lower-income, affordable housing. Buying and fixing, and then renting and managing, was a way of engaging with a population completely outside the culture industry. Kind of like in gay culture, where hookups are a way of escaping your class. [Laughs]

BLVR: Do you have any advice for people who might want to go into that?

CK: Into an entrepreneurial activity that’s at worst ethically neutral, that can subsidize other activities? I think there are entrepreneurial opportunities everywhere, always. The thing is to look outside the key points on both coasts. Look at other parts of the country. If I were starting to do this again, I’d probably visit Detroit. The idea that came forward in the last couple of years, where people could buy fixers for practically nothing, then homestead—that was very intriguing. But the U.S. is full of dying cities and suburbs. I think there’s so much that can be done, so many opportunities, if you are willing to put yourself there. Take yourself off the career track for two or three years and just try something totally different.
 
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