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Aliens & Anorexia

4.12 of 5 stars 4.12  ·  rating details  ·  281 ratings  ·  27 reviews
As the rope was tightening around my neck, an Alien made love to me. Belief is a technology for softening the landscape. The world becomes more beautiful when God is in it. Here is what happens inside a person's body when they starve.Written in the shadow of Georg Buchner's Lenz at razor pitch, Aliens & Anorexia, first published in 2000, defines a female form of chance ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published March 2nd 2000 by Semiotext(e)
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Robert
I never realized Aliens was the least popular of Kraus's "torpor" trilogy, but it's my favorite. It's the one where she assembles a radical philosophy of sadness. I love that. I reread it because it was snowing a lot where I live.
Christina knox
it's sort of like reading a really involved blog. it's an effective and interesting piece of writing. basically, the protagonist is shopping a film that sounds like a dispassionate mess of pretension while thinking back to shooting it. this is interspersed with a biography of simone weil and a rambling narrative about sado masochism and phone sex lines.

it's kind of bitchy and present. it's interesting, the way that the post y2k era can seem retro despite being written like the hyper modernity i
...more
Laura
i didn't love this one as much. 'video green' and 'i love dick' totally rocked my world, but this one fell a little flat for me. the intelligence and insight is still there, but the hard bright clarity of language is absent here. conceptually, i love the idea, re-staging a "failed" film into a novel, but it's not totally compelling in practice. aliens and anorexia, however, is a piece of the larger narrative kraus tells about her own life in her four novel/essays, and is interesting in that some ...more
Lee Foust
Connections. Juxtapositions. Narrative. Non-sequitur. Personal essay. Lies. Fiction. A screenplay novelization. Philosophy. Citation, reference, and allusion. Confession. A bulimic writer purging words from a mind that wants to empty itself, become alien, de-create. Sex. Phone sex. S & M. Writing as abstinence. Writing broken down into compartments and mixed, jumbled.

I begin reading this on the airplane, the eleven-hour flight to Frankfurt from San Francisco, during the pretend nighttime, af
...more
Christine
This book is part of the series that begins with I Love Dick and ends (I think) with Summer of Hate. In this installment, Kraus refers to herself as "I" and finally tells the story of her "failed" experimental film, Gravity and Grace, the ghost that has haunted the previous two books. In typical fashion, though, this is not a linear narrative. Beginning at the end, so to speak, of the film, we find Chris at a European film festival, desperately trying one last time to find distribution for her ...more
Daniel Rounds
Kraus's ability to take you in multiple directions while retaining a coherent structure gives this book a cinematic quality that pulls you in. The book has fictional qualities but seems more like a combination of essay and memoir. I'll be be reading more of her stuff in the near future.
Simon
Always good to discover an author who I wasn't familiar with - even though she grew up in good old NZ. Intriguing, hard to describe, but in the good sort of way.
Dearwassily
Kraus blends cultural, art, and feminist theory with philosophy and an a-personal I.
Demelza
Chris Kraus may love dick, but I love Chris Kraus. This book was amazing, and I find it unfortunate that her writing is not better known.
Andrea Crow
The stuff on Simone Weil is awesome. The rest is like meh.
Charles Dee Mitchell
Wider ranging than I Love Dick, but as a result not as satsifying as a novel -- or whatever Kraus's books officially are. She can be very funny and deadly point on when writing about the contemporary art world, and she also makes a totally absurd group of apocalypse dreamers poignant. I don't think I will read Simoe Weill as a result of Aliens and Anorexia, but I have gone out and bought a 500 page book on Paul Thek, an artist that has previously been only a name to me.
Megan
new narrative, if i'm using that term correctly. collagistic, memoirish. a lot of philosophy (Simone Weil, especially) and other meaty kind of stuff mixed in with the day to day. borrows from deleuze in her formulation of anorexia as an active stance, "the rejection of the cynicism that this culture hands us through food" (163). the citation of which is a reality check as i need to go write my paper FOREAL.
Isaac
Reading as a prequel to her series, it's the weakest link in Kraus's tumultscape of regretable relationships and hiccuping career, but still worth a read. Like the film she struggles to complete in the book, the whole thing falls apart in the end - but strewn throughout, some excellent lit crit and insightful interpretations of the body's reactions to the culture at large.
Anna
why do i have to re-read a chris kraus book as soon as i have finished it?
i am yet to read this again, but i still think kraus is one of the most interesting writers i have read in long long long long time. she has a lot to tell me, and i am going to be thinking about it for years...
Genevieve Michaels
Fascinating! I love the way Kraus's books give a (seemingly) brutally honest window into the writer's mind. The plot/through-line was not quite as compelling as in I Love Dick but I still enjoyed just letting all the different components wash over me.
Eyre
Somewhat of a mash-up between Kathy Acker's Empire of the Senseless and a Tama Janowitz novel. Not the post-feminist chic lit I was looking for. My usual critique: more aliens, less anorexia. The fun parts are really fun, though.

Caty
I love Chris Kraus, & that's all there is to say. 1 of the last of the true bohemians. Turns any discourse, from her developmentally disabled friend, to her phone sex affair, to Simone Weill, eclectic and attention grabbing.
Kim
Amazing. I'm going to read everything she's ever written. Paul Thek, Ulrike Meinhof, Simone Weil, S&M phone sex, failed films...how could you go wrong? An essential meditation on what it means to be a woman and a philosopher.
Vicky
May 18, 2013 Vicky rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: novel
"It was a happy time. She lived on cocoa and potatoes and adrenaline."
So much to think about. I don't understand everything. I promise myself I'll write a longer thing here on, say, Monday when I'm on an actual computer.
Nicole
A little autobiographical, and a little too pretentious, but a definite recommendation to those who love visual cultural and critical theory.
Aaron
Chris Kraus fans will enjoy learning "where she came from"... Others may be pleasantly amused and perplexed. (Both are good things.)
Donavan
Just one of those books that could have been written by me if I were older, had a vagina, and were into S/M.
Ammi Emergency
Re-read. Worth re-reading. On overriding one's representation. And failed art! Art as artifact.
Brina
Lots of references to theorists and anorexics. Diaristic
s/m new york LA New Zeland France
Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle
found this easier to get into/read than I Love Dick, actually...
Genevieve
Not as good as I Love Dick.
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Sep 03, 2015
Rowan
Rowan marked it as to-read
Sep 03, 2015
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Chris Kraus is a writer, filmmaker, and professor of film at European Graduate School in Saas-Fee, Switzerland.[1] Her books include I Love Dick, Aliens & Anorexia, and Torpor. Video Green, Kraus' first non-fiction book examines the explosion of late 1990s art by high-profile graduate programs that catapulted Los Angeles into the center of the international art world. Her films include Gravity ...more
More about Chris Kraus...
I Love Dick Torpor Where Art Belongs Hatred of Capitalism: A Semiotext(e) Reader Summer of Hate

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