Essays

The Highest Apple: Sappho and the Lesbian Poetic Tradition
Judy Grahn
Sinister Wisdom - 23.00€ -

In 1985, Judy Grahn boldly declared that lesbians have a poetic tradition and mapped it from Sappho to the present day in the groundbreaking book, The Highest Apple. In this new and updated edition of The Highest Apple: Sappho and the Lesbian Poetic Tradition, Grahn revisits the original text with her characteristic ferocious intellect, passion for historical research, careful close readings, and dynamic storytelling. Grahn situates poetry by Sappho, Emily Dickinson, Amy Lowell, H.D., Gertrude Stein, Adrienne Rich Paula Gunn Allen, Audre Lorde, Pat Parker, and Olga Broumas as central to lesbian culture—and more radically as central to society as a whole.

This new edition of The Highest Apple: Sappho and the Lesbian Poetic Tradition includes Grahn’s in depth analysis of poetic work by her friend and comrade Pat Parker and suggests a transactional approach to poetry as uncovering layers of the self. Grahn assembled this text in conversation with two younger lesbian poets, Alicia Mountain and Alyse Knorr, demonstrating the continued relevance and dynamism of The Highest Apple for contemporary readers. A new introduction by Grahn, a foreword by Alyse Knorr, and editor notes by Alicia Mountain along with six responses by contemporary poets Donika Kelly, Kim Shuck, Serena Chopra, Zoe Tuck, Saretta Morgan, and Khadijah Queen highlight the on-going significance of The Highest Apple to readers, writers, and thinkers.

Je Nathanael
Nathanaël
Nightboat Books - 16.00€ -  out of stock

In Je Nathanaël, first published in 2006, Nathanaël explores ways in which language constrains the body, shackles it to gender, and proposes instead a different way of reading, where words are hermaphroditic and transform desire in turn. Suggesting that one body conceals another, it lends an ear to this other body and delights in the anxiety it provokes. With parts written in French, other parts in English, this is truly a hybrid text, throwing itself into question as it acts upon itself in translation. It is both originator and recipient of its own echo. In this regard it does not, cannot exist, pulling insistently away from itself in an attempt to draw attention to the very things it seeks to conceal. In this way, Je Nathanaël is a book of paradox, negating itself as it comes into being.

Pages 10 - Inhale
Nasrin Tabatabai, Babak Afrassiabi (eds.)
Pages Magazine - 12.00€ -

The theme of this issue of Pages was triggered by the idea of opium smoke as a ‘writing machine.’ Since the early opium trade, there has been writing not only on opium, but also through opium, especially in countries linked to past and present drug networks. In this issue we are tapping into the deeply rooted relationship between writing and drugs, especially beyond the Western literary tradition, and wondering about the current conceptual and material derivatives of intoxication with which we can machinate new extremities in our chemical, historical and technological relations to the world.

With contributions by:

- Jason Bahbak Mohaghegh / Smoke, Drug, Poison: A Philosophy of the Faramoosh-Khaneh (Opium Den)
- Pages / Dissolving, Mixing, Melting, Stirring (the Smoke)
- Hung-Bin Hsu / The Taste of Opium: Science, Monopoly and the Japanese Colonization in Taiwan, 1895—1945
- Saleh Najafi / Hedayat: The Opium of Translation and Creating the Impossible Memory
- Patricia Reed / The Toxicity of Continuity
- Fuko Mineta / A Monster Appears in Qingtian
- Morad Farhadpour / Inside and Outside Addiction
- Mohammad-Ali Rahebi / Of Junk and Time: Trauma, Habit, Capitalism

A take away cup and a cloud
Oda Brekke
Self-Published - 10.00€ -

A take away cup and a cloud is an essay written alongside the dance performance Seems to be by Denise Lim and Stina Ehn. It plays with a variety of containers–the list form being one. By mixing a personal with a historical gaze it traces the trajectory of mundane commodities and  the replacement of material with imaterial objects brought about to the everyday by technical progress. 

Seeing Making: Room for Thought
Susan Buck-Morss, Kevin McCaughey, Adam Michaels
Inventory Press - 33.00€ -  out of stock

Seeing <―> Making: Room for Thought both studies and presents the creative process of constructing ideas with images. By activating the techniques of montage, the book reveals a wide field of view and a space to engage new critical connection between a multiplicity of objects from the past and present. Realized through an intergenerational collaboration of three cultural producers committed to making theory visible, a transformative anthology of critical essays by Susan Buck-Morss anchors this kaleidoscopic project. Images and ideas sync with Buck-Morss’ perceptive texts on visual culture, history, politics, and aesthetics, fusing criticism with visual play and linking collective imagination and social action.

Building upon the methods and ways of seeing put forth by visual thinkers like Walter Benjamin and John Berger, designer Kevin McCaughey (Boot Boyz Biz), designer, editor, and publisher Adam Michaels (IN-FO.CO/Inventory Press), and renowned theorist Buck-Morss collectively assemble colliding material into new relation. What results is a (typo-) graphic articulation that thinks seriously about the stakes of ideation and reorients the space of the book in the service of a theory and philosophy that speaks the language of our image-based information age.

Whites, Jews, and Us: Toward a Politics of Revolutionary Love
Houria Bouteldja
Semiotext(e) - 15.00€ -  out of stock

A scathing critique of the Left from an indigenous anti-colonial perspective.

With Whites, Jews, and Us, Houria Bouteldja launches a scathing critique of the European Left from an indigenous anti-colonial perspective, reflecting on Frantz Fanon's political legacy, the republican pact, the Shoah, the creation of Israel, feminism, and the fate of postcolonial immigration in the West in the age of rising anti-immigrant populism. Drawing upon such prominent voices as James Baldwin, Malcolm X, and Jean Genet, she issues a polemical call for a militant anti-racism grounded in the concept of revolutionary love.

Such love will not come without significant discomfort for whites, and without necessary provocation. Bouteldja challenges widespread assumptions among the Left in the United States and Europe—that anti-Semitism plays any role in Arab-Israeli conflicts, for example, or that philo-Semitism doesn't in itself embody an oppressive position; that feminism or postcolonialist theory is free of colonialism; that integrationalism is a solution rather than a problem; that humanism can be against racism when its very function is to support the political-ideological apparatus that Bouteldja names the "white immune system."

At this transitional moment in the history of the West—which is to say, at the moment of its decline—Bouteldja offers a call for political unity that demands the recognition that whiteness is not a genetic question: it is a matter of power, and it is high time to dismantle it.

"Why am I writing this book? Because I share Gramsci's anxiety: "The old are dying and the new cannot be born; in this interregnum a great variety of morbid symptoms appear." The fascist monster, born in the entrails of Western modernity. Of course, the West is not what it used to be. Hence my question: what can we offer white people in exchange for their decline and for the wars that will ensue? There is only one answer: peace. There is only one way: revolutionary love." — from Whites, Jews, and Us

This Semiotext(e)/Intervention series English-language edition includes a foreword by Cornel West.

Bad Infinity – Selected Writings
Aria Dean
Sternberg Press - 19.00€ -

The most significant critical, theoretical, and art historical texts by the artist, writer, and filmmaker Aria Dean.

Compiled here for the first time, the selected writings of Aria Dean mount a trenchant critique of representational systems. A visual artist and filmmaker, Dean has also emerged as one of the leading critical voices of her generation, through a body of writing that maps the forces of aesthetic theory, image regimes, and visibility onto questions of race and power. Dean's work across media has long been defined by what she calls a "fixation on the subject and its borders," and the texts collected here filter that inquiry through digital networks, art history, and Black radical thought. Equally at home discussing artists who embrace difficulty—from Robert Morris to David Hammons, Lorna Simpson, and Ulysses Jenkins—and conceptual frameworks such as Afropessimism, Dean often contends with how theoretical positions brush against the grain of lived reality: how the Structuralism handed down from the academy, for instance, can be co-mingled with critiques of structural racism, or how Georges Bataille's notion of base matter transforms through an encounter with Blackness.

Dean's thinking embraces a definition of "Black art that luxuriates in its outside-the-world-ness," as she writes in this volume, which works to elucidate "Blackness's proclivity for making and unmaking its own rules as it produces objects" of cultural necessity. Originally published in November as well as in Texte zur Kunst, e-flux journal, and in exhibition contexts, the essays compiled in Bad Infinity were written over a six-year span that charts our rapidly evolving forms of subjectivity and sociality.

Aria Dean (born 1993 in Los Angeles ) is an American artist, critic, writer and curator. Her writings have appeared in various art publications including November (of which she is a founding editor), Texte zur Kunst, Artforum, e-flux, The New Inquiry, Art in America, Topical Cream, Cura., Mousse, Flash Art, Spike, etc.

Oral History of Exhibitions
Megan Francis Sullivan
New Toni Press - 14.00€ -  out of stock

Of course there is the practice of art by the artist, but an exhibition is even more so an engagement between people, places, institutions, projections, desires, coincidences, memories, and temporalities. In this monograph, artist Megan Francis Sullivan chooses the format of oral history, engaging various akteurs of the field to produce a web of language reflecting a shape of time.

Drive It All Over Me
Paige K. Bradley
S*I*G - 10.00€ -  out of stock

Paige Bradley’s Drive It All Over Me was commissioned by the artists Jay Chung and Q Takeki Maeda and concerns their work Bad Driver, 2023, Jack Goldstein’s Selected Writings, and Vanessa Place’s Gone with the Wind and concerns broad themes of subtextual narrative, authorship, and identity in text-based visual artworks while also touching upon allegory, elaborately subtle jokes, and writing as a sculptural material.

From Work to Frame, or, Is There Life After "The Death of the Author"?
Craig Owens
S*I*G - 10.00€ -

"From Work to Frame" was first published in English and Swedish in 1987 in a catalog of the Moderna Museet in Stockholm for the exhibition "Implosion: A Postmodern Perspective" (October 24, 1987 to January 10, 1988).

As S*I*G #12, the text is published in English and in its first German translation, alongside a preface by Hannes Loichinger, who is editor of this issue.

Letters from NYC
Antony Hudek
S*I*G - 8.00€ -  out of stock

A diptych of transcribed letters, extracted from two films taking place in 1970s New York, made by Jacques Scandelari and Chantal Akerman.

Irrational Man
Francesca Lacatena
S*I*G - 6.00€ -  out of stock

In this premiere essay, meditations on writing form a mini-antologica. The work of Piera Aulagnier is linked to that of Sade. A focus is cast on the artist Filippo de Pisis. Designed in collaboration with Sara De Bondt. Edited by Megan Francis Sullivan.

After Sex
Edna Bonhomme and Alice Spawls (eds)
Silver Press - 18.00€ -

Who decides what happens after sex? The last decade has seen many significant changes to the laws governing women’s reproductive rights around the world, from liberalisation in Ireland to new restrictions in the USA. After Sex offers personal and political perspectives from the mid-20th century to the present day, setting feminist classics alongside contemporary accounts. These essays, short stories and poems trace the debates and tell the stories; together, they ask us to consider what reproductive justice might look like, and how it could reshape sex.

The writers pay special attention to people — both fictional and real — who have sought control over their sexual lives, and the joy, comedy, difficulties and disappointments that entails. But above all, After Sex testifies to the power of great writing to show us why that freedom is worth pursuing — without shame and without apology.

With contributions from: 
Lauren Berlant, Joanna Biggs, Edna Bonhomme, Gwendolyn Brooks, Beverley Bryan, Stella Dadzie and Suzanne Scafe, Storm Cecile, Lucille Clifton, Rachel Connolly, T.L. Cowan, ’Jane Does’, Maggie Doherty, Nell Dunn, Andrea Dworkin, Anne Enright, Deborah Friedell, Tracy Fuad, Kristen Ghodsee, Vivian Gornick, Donna Haraway, bell hooks, Barbara Johnson, Jayne Kavanagh, Lisa Hallgarten and Angela Poulter, Jamaica Kincaid, Patricia Knight, R.O. Kwon, Ursula K. Le Guin, Natasha Lennard, Sophie Lewis, Audre Lorde, Amelia Loulli, Erin Maglaque, Holly Pester, Adrienne Rich, Denise Riley, Sally Rooney, Loretta J. Ross, Madeleine Schwartz, SisterSong, Sophie Smith, Annabel Sowemimo, Amia Srinivasan, Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, Judith Jarvis Thomson, Alice Walker and Bernard Williams.

Les Voies du Paradis
Peter Cornell
After 8 Books - 16.00€ -

Les Voies du Paradis rassemble ce qui subsiste d’une œuvre perdue : les seules notes de bas de page d’un texte manquant, laissées par un chercheur après son décès et éditées par Peter Cornell. Ces notes et leurs illustrations forment un ensemble incomplet, qui se donne ici à lire à travers ses manques. Un fil – d’Ariane ? – se tisse entre les diagrammes, les figures de spirales et de labyrinthes – de Cesare Ripa à Ernst Josephson et Robert Smithson, des Templiers aux spirites et aux surréalistes – qui parcourent le texte et se font écho, comme les éléments d’une énigme ou des figures ésotériques. Le « Paradis » dont il est question ici, c’est le rêve de la connaissance absolue, la saisie de l’ordre caché des choses, à laquelle aspirent autant poètes et artistes que mystiques et scientifiques…

Paru en Suède en 1987, Les Voies du Paradis y a acquis la réputation d’un livre culte. Peter Cornell y propose une perspective inédite sur les liens entre art, littérature, spiritualité et occultisme, dans un texte à mi-chemin de l’essai et de la fiction, de l’érudition et de la mystification. La volonté de savoir y est mise en scène comme une quête prise au piège de l’irrationnel ; les notes s’assemblent par logique associative, programme éclectique qui tente encore de retrouver un centre perdu – comme les algorithmes auxquels est confiée aujourd’hui la tâche fantasmée de mettre en ordre les connaissances humaines.

To the Other Side of the Concrete Wall
Niloufar Nematollahi
Jina Collective - 20.00€ -  out of stock

A collection of translated essays by feminists in Iran that attempts to imagine beyond walls of oppression by navigating the intersections of writing and the everyday becomings of a feminist revolution.

The book includes writings of Elaheh Mohammadi and Niloofar Hamedi, the journalists who were arrested in September 2022 after covering the news of Jina Amini’s murder. Niloofar and Elaheh are still in Tehran’s notorious Even prison today. To the Other Side of the Concrete Wall also includes an essay on the experience of arrest and detention at Evin prison told from the perspective of an anonymous writer who was incarcerated following the Jina Uprising which started about a year ago. These pieces together with two essays by Elaheh and Niloofar’s friend and editor-in-chief of the feminist platform Harass Watch, Ghoncheh Ghavami, are brought together and translated into English for the first time in the Other Side of the Concrete Wall.

To the Other Side of the Concrete Wall was seed-funded by BAK and published by Jina Collective. Jina Collective is a Netherlands-based feminist, leftist, anti-capitalist, anti-sexist, and pro-LQBTQ+ activist group that emerged from the Jina Uprising.

Urban Lament
Sofia Grigoriadou, Eliana Otta, David Bergé (eds.)
Kyklàda.press - 12.00€ -  out of stock

Lamentation practices can empower the potentiality to defy patriarchal orders ruling everyday life. Always a collective process, lamentation inscribes loss and vulnerability by tending bridges towards the world of the dead and the more-than-human. Gestures such as singing or breathing, gathering, and performances that exceed rationality can inspire a renewed approach to life and death, rural and urban. After all, amidst ongoing processes of extinction, how to mourn a queer activist, a Roma father, a burnt forest, an exiled body, and a ship sunken in the Mediterranean? How to experience loss not as something individual, but within an expanded continuum of pain? How to explore emotions beyond the private sphere? Through case studies and narrations, in different times and geographies surrounding the Aegean Sea, this book amplifies the echoes of collective tears to invigorate contemporary mourning practices that claim public space by grief, rage, and affect.

Islands After Tourism
George Papam, David Bergé (eds.)
Kyklàda.press - 12.00€ -  out of stock

Tourism does more than transforming spaces and forcing emotions: its geographies also conceal a persisting power that captures the imagination. In their operational sturdiness, tourismscapes appear intractable and inert, making their alternative renderings almost unthinkable. It feels uncanny to picture islands and their coasts freed from programs of leisure. But in recent years, the exhaustion of people and landscapes has brought forth a renewed imperative to think outside this ubiquitous extractive industry. Through essays, pieces of fiction, and visual references, this book discusses both the difficulty and the necessity of disrupting the monocultural imaginations of tourism. To escape the devouring vortex of its sticky nature and messianic promises, the cultural and political work necessary is not only this of negation and resistance, but also that of bold re-conceptualizations and re-imaginings.

How to see palace pillars as if they were palm trees
Hussein Nasseraddine
Kayfa Ta - 10.00€ -

For so it happens that when the poets speak, objects appear closer to their own shadows. The poet's mouth fills up with horses and marble, and his verses start to shine like rivers. These rivers then turn back to flow through the very palace he is depicting. The poet's own words begin to weigh down on him, as though he were holding up a palace with his palms. Then he travels, and the palace is obliterated. Countries and nations change, and naught remains but what the poets had seen. Of what the poets had seen, naught remains but its image in anthologies. And when the libraries have been flooded or burned to the ground, nothing but the commentaries on those anthologies are left, and all that one finds in these commentaries is that which was appropriated and wrought a thousand times over. 

Hussein Nassereddine is a multidisciplinary artist. His work in installation, writing, video and performance originates from a practice around language that builds fragile monuments - some verbal, some sonic, some tactile - rooted in collective histories and resources of poetry, ruins, construction and image-making.

Translated from Arabic by Ben Koerber.

How to make female action heroes
Madhusree Dutta
Kayfa Ta - 10.00€ -

M was exasperated by her friend's frivolous attitude toward the tragedy of losing a role. She was not trained to read the potential in R's wild imagination. Was it a commitment to realism, trained by the ideological morality of activism, that made her unresposive to the fantasy genre and vigilante characters? R's instinct was to court the unfamiliar, whereas M's training was to engage with criticality. Both these attributes could have interfaced in interesting and colourful ways, with sparks and currents, if and only if the social conditions of the time had been conducive to the arrival of a vigilante.

Madhusree Dutta is a filmmaker, curator and author based in Mumbai and Berlin. She has been the executive director of Majlis Culture, a centre for rights discourse and art initiatives in Mumbai, 1998-2016; and artistic director of Academy of the Arts of the World in Cologne, 2018-2021. Her areas of interest are documentary practices, urban cultures, migration movements, transient identities, and lived-in hybridity.

Alien Daughters Walk Into the Sun: An Almanac of Extreme Girlhood
Jackie Wang
Semiotext(e) - 18.00€ -

The early writings of renowned poet and critical theorist Jackie Wang, drawn from her early zines, indie-lit crit, and prolific early 2000s blog. 

Compiled as a field guide, travelogue, essay collection, and weather report, Alien Daughters Walk into the Sun traces Jackie Wang's trajectory from hard femme to Harvard, from dumpster dives and highway bike rides to dropping out of an MFA program, becoming a National Book Award finalist, and writing her trenchant book Carceral Capitalism. Alien Daughters charts the dream-seeking misadventures of an "odd girl" from Florida who emerged from punk houses and early Tumblr to become the powerful writer she is today. Anarchic and beautifully personal, Alien Daughters is a strange intellectual autobiography that demonstrates Wang's singular self-education: an early life lived where every day and every written word began like the Tarot's Fool, with a leap of faith.

cart (0)