Essays

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

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.

Sleepless: A Memoir of Insomnia
Marie Darrieussecq
Semiotext(e) - 18.00€ -

A restless inquiry into the cultural and psychic sources of insomnia by one of contemporary French literature's most elegant voices.

Plagued by insomnia for twenty years, Marie Darrieussecq turns her attention to the causes, implications, and consequences of sleeplessness: a nocturnal suffering that culminates at 4 a.m. and then defines the next day. “Insomniac mornings are dead mornings,” she observes. Prevented from falling asleep by her dread of exhaustion the next day, Darrieussecq turns to hypnosis, psychoanalysis, alcohol, pills, and meditation. Her entrapment within this spiraling anguish prompts her inspired, ingenious search across literature, geopolitical history, psychoanalysis, and her own experience to better understand where insomnia comes from and what it might mean. There are those, she writes, in Rwanda, whose vivid memories of genocide leave them awake and transfixed by complete horror; there is the insomnia of the unhoused, who have nowhere to put their heads down. The hyperconnection of urban professional life transforms her bedroom from a haven to a dormant electrified node.

Ranging between autobiography, clinical observation, and criticism, Sleepless is a graceful, inventive meditation by one of the most daring, inventive novelists writing today.

Masturbatory Reader (2nd edition)
Sticky Fingers (eds.)
Sticky Fingers Publishing - 24.00€ -

This Masturbatory Reader asks three main questions.
1. What power and pleasure can we access through attending to the erotics of knowledge production?
2. How are the sites, systems and tools of knowledge-making designed to reiterate violent norms (and in turn, erase deviant practices)?
3. What could the making (and unmaking) of these systems allow us to imagine?

To unpack these questions the edition gathers 16 contributors across 136 pages, conjuring the thinking (wondering, studying, lusting, sweating, ranting) of an expanding chorus of references that sit distances apart, folded here between facing pages. A chorus calling to action, calling to theory, calling to bed.

Featuring D Mortimer, Wes Knowler, Biogal, Tallulah Griffith, Brooke Palmieri, Carl Gent, Sophie Mak-Schram, Alice Butler, Jessa Mockridge, Nat Pyper, Alton Melvar M Dapanas, Sammy Paloma, Donna Marcus Duke, and Ryan Boultbee, with a forward by Emily Pope.

“In this anthology, reading is cruising, and cruising is reading.” – Sam Moore, ‘The (Bad) Taste Test: Radical Acts of Queer (Self) Pleasure in The Masturbatory Reader’, Polyester Zine

Chesil Cliff House and other failures
Sam Moore
Sticky Fingers Publishing - 14.00€ -

Orbiting around the saddest house in the history of Grand Designs, Sam Moore’s Chesil Cliff House and other failures takes us to North Devon where, standing at the cliff’s edge, we meet Edward Short: a man with a Fred Perry shirt and a dream. Amongst a chorus of characters including Kevin Mcloud as Father Time, Moore by means of Short leads us into a study of creative failure, gender, and, ultimately, the desire to keep writing.

"I struggle to see anyone living here. It feels like a distorted wonder of the world, a cautionary tale. Something that could never have been lived in, but that had to be made."

About the author:
Sam is a writer, artist, and editor. They are the author of All my teachers died of AIDS (Pilot Press), Long live the new flesh (Polari Press), and Search history (Queer Street Press). They are one of the co-curators of TISSUE, a trans reading and publishing initiative based in London.

About A Series of Attempts:
This new series published by Sticky Fingers Publishing explores the essay form through the etymological root of essay: to try, trial or attempt. In 1508, French theorist Michel de Montaigne published a collection of 107 texts called Essais, described by his contemporaries as ‘self-indulgent and embarrassingly confessional.’ It is through these roots we find the attitude and intentions at the heart of this series; that through thinking together, through trying to figure it out on the page, we can reach new and increasingly nuanced ways to understand each other and the worlds we inhabit.

I love you forever is murder
amy etherington
Sticky Fingers Publishing - 14.00€ -

Here, in a work of trans pessimism, amy etherington asks what love and grief mean in a world that wants you dead. Speaking to a structural, architectural violence, I love you forever is murder imagines transness as an exit, which then implies a reentry. Understanding love and grief as inextricably entangled, etherington examines how trans people are often met with grief by those who claim they love them.

Part break-up text, part grief-oriented trans theory, part whispering, pricking, ghostly presence-from-beyond-the-grave, etherington calls upon Lacan through Edelman, Freud, Derrida, and the voices of friends, writing with an aching warmth and confessional intimacy that seeks to live, write, go on, after your own passing.

About the Author
amy etherington is an educator–researcher–writer, exploring grief, death and transness and how they sit by the edges of things. Her writing feels through/with a pessimism that there might only be no place for transexuals in this World, itself an imagining wrought from our violent unmaking. Her teaching work seeks ways to resist the institution a little longer from within its grounds, through collaborative investigation of care and caring practices with students. @amy.ether

About a Series of Attempts:
This new series published by Sticky Fingers Publishing explores the essay form through the etymological root of essay: to try, trial or attempt. In 1508, French theorist Michel de Montaigne published a collection of 107 texts called Essais, described by his contemporaries as ‘self-indulgent and embarrassingly confessional.’ It is through these roots we find the attitude and intentions at the heart of this series; that through thinking together, through trying to figure it out on the page, we can reach new and increasingly nuanced ways to understand each other and the worlds we inhabit.

Sticky Fingers Publishing is an intra-dependant press based in London. We are a feminist, queer, disabled-led publisher producing work at the intersection of design, academia, art, visual culture and performance.

Telling the Truth as It Comes Up: Selected Talks & Essays 1991-2018
Alice Notley
The Song Cave - 27.00€ -

An Expert Array of Talks & Essays by One of Our Greatest Living Poets.

One of our greatest living poets, Alice Notley, the author of more than 40 books of poetry, has delivered an expert array of talks and essays over the last three decades.

The publication offers a significant contribution to literature, reimagining the possibilities of writing in our time and the complicated business of how and why writers devote their lives to their craft. Whether she is writing about other poets—Ed Dorn, Allen Ginsberg, Homer, bpNichol, Douglas Oliver, or William Carlos Williams—noir fiction, the First Gulf War, dreams and what they're for, or giving us insight into her own work, Notley's observations are original, sobering, and always memorable. This collection often eschews the typical style of essay or lecture, resisting any categorization, and is consciously disobedient to academic structures in form. The results are thrilling new modes of thinking that may change the ways we read and write.

Who does not envy with us is against us: three essays on being working-class
Maria Fusco
Broken Sleep Books - 13.00€ -

Who does not envy with us is against us is a collection of essays on working-classness that demonstrates Maria Fusco's exceptional talent for weaving together the analytical and the poetic to create an affecting and profound work.

With expressive prose, Fusco deftly captures the experiences of the global working class, illuminating emotions that unite them across borders and lines. This is a tribute to the resilience and tenacity of working-class communities, and an invitation to readers to join in a deeper understanding of their struggles and triumphs. Through her masterful storytelling, Fusco utilises the power of language to elevate the voices of those who have long been silenced, creating a symphony of words that will echo long after the final page.

"I love this book with my entire life and beyond. Fact that I grew up a thousand miles south of Belfast, but, days after reading, feel like I'm - or should be - from there is testament to Fusco's analytic and lyric genius, and her ability to move and affect. Fusco mobilises a previously unnamed mood shared by the international, intergalactic working classes, I've never seen anything like it. Read this book." - Isabel Waidner, Corey Fah Does Social Mobility

Socialist Realism
Trisha Low
Coffee House Press - 17.00€ -  out of stock

When Trisha Low moves West, her journey is motivated by the need to arrive “somewhere better”—someplace utopian, like revolution; or safe, like home; or even clarifying, like identity. Instead, she faces the end of her relationships, a family whose values she has difficulty sharing, and America’s casual racism, sexism, and homophobia.

In this book-length essay, the problem of how to account for one’s life comes to the fore—sliding unpredictably between memory, speculation, self-criticism, and art criticism, Low seeks answers that she knows she won’t find. Attempting to reconcile her desires with her radical politics, she asks: do our quests to fulfill our deepest wishes propel us forward, or keep us trapped in the rubble of our deteriorating world?

Winner of the 2020 Lambda Literary Award for Bisexual Nonfiction.

Chicanes
Clara Schulmann
Les Fugitives - 16.00€ -  out of stock

Translated from the French by Naima Rashid, Natasha Lehrer, Lauren Elkin, Ruth Diver, Jessica Spivey, Jennifer Higgins, Clem Clement and Sophie Lewis.

As she tries to collect them for an essay she is planning to write, other women’s words begin interfering in Clara Schulmann’s life — heard on the radio, in podcasts, songs, and films; words of novelists, feminist intellectuals, friends or strangers overheard in the street. They invade her psyche, reshaping the essay that she once had in mind into a picaresque adventure which investigates the fault lines around women’s voices: and in particular those moments of overflow and excess where wayward words take seed.

Chicanes heralds a new French feminism through a meticulously orchestrated chorus of the wildest female voices, from figures in the history of feminist writing to the stranger on the street, blurring the boundaries between body and art; personal and political. A poly-translation, by eight female translators, from established to emerging, Chicanes brings the individual voice of each translator into subtle relief.

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