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Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl
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Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl

(Semiotext(e) / Intervention #12)

3.50  ·  Rating details ·  492 ratings  ·  66 reviews
The Young-Girl is not always young; more and more frequently, she is not even female. She is the figure of total integration in a disintegrating social totality.--from " Theory of the Young-Girl

"First published in France in 1999, "Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl" dissects the impossibility of love under Empire. The Young-Girl is consumer society's tota
Paperback, 137 pages
Published June 22nd 2012 by Semiotext(e) (first published September 26th 2001)
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3.50  · 
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 ·  492 ratings  ·  66 reviews

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Maybe I had too high expectations for this "book" (really, the scattered fragments and aphoristic theorizing is something wholly different, more like a peek inside the laboratory of a gang of anarchists experimenting with exotic explosives that sometimes fails and sometimes succeeds in conjuring up great potential).

But I would be lying if I was saying that I was not disappointed. A friend told me, before I read it myself, that it would be good toilet reading. Which of course has more to do with
Laura A. Warman
Dec 12, 2012 rated it really liked it

This is the funniest book. To increase the humor, check out reviews from fellow feminists of Goodreads who see this as essentialist insulting shit. This book is offensive! But manages to prove a point about the production of a 21st century "girl" culture where women too take on the role of a powerless cutesy reproducer of capitalism.
Rui Coelho
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
This is not a book about young girls. Tiqqun use teenage vanity and consumerism as an illustration to how contemporary societies mold us into agents of social reproduction. If you read it like that this is a valuable work about our everyday reification and alienation.
Nonetheless, some aphorisms sound personal and uncalled for. There is also plenty of BS, for example "The Young-Girl's ass is a global village". Really, Tiqqun? Is this suppose to mean anything?
Finally, it is vital to understand thi
Dec 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: leftwing-theory
An illustration of the ideas in Civil War, insofar as the war is waged over and through agambenian forms-of-life. We see that “the imperials strategy first of all consists in organizing blindness to forms of life; illiteracy to ethical differences; making the battlefront unrecognizable, if not invisible; and, in the most critical cases, disguising the real war with all kinds of false conflicts” (ii). Into this mess wades the authorial collective here: “the retaking of the offensive from our side ...more
this is the worst output Tiqqun has ever had, a meandering mess filled with pointless aphorisms & faux depth
Christopher Waller
Nov 03, 2018 rated it liked it
aka the anti-thot manifesto
Apr 20, 2017 rated it did not like it
One star for the truth that consumerism is bad for the soul and the body. And also the commitment to an utter lack of methodology up in here, and the resulting quasi-zine'd poem, is unironically kind of great. Too bad the content is a misogynistic pile of crazy, and leftist male ~irony is the sincerest thing in the world! Better said here:
Aug 10, 2013 rated it did not like it
don't read this. it is crap. misogyny and ageism disguised by French post-structuralist/insurrectionist jargon.
This is a perplexing little book. I'm unsure whether it's aphorisms are just nonsense or close to being profound.

The short text draws from Hardt and Negri's book Empire on social organization and the objectification of young girls' bodies. 'Young girl', in this books sense, means a person's body which is treated wholly like an object, and discusses the possible repercussions of that.

The book is also organized in a series of aphorisms. Some of these are theoretical analyses of a 'young girl'. Oth
Feb 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
"It wasn't until the Young-Girl appeared that one could concretely experience what it means to "fuck", that is, to fuck someone without fucking anyone in particular. Because to fuck a being that is so really abstract, so utterly interchangeable, is to fuck in the absolute."
Aug 25, 2012 rated it liked it
Got me fundamentally deeply angry, in an unsure and self-critical way, although in retrospect I think it's too deeply misogynistic (and all the anti-artificiality that goes with) to be lauded as a screed of radical cultural critique. The ADHD experimental structure is effective, though.
Jan 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
"Did not like it" is an understatement. Deeply, bitterly, openly, and predictably misogynistic. Yawn.
Tal B
Aug 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
got what they were going for but it still felt like when your arm falls asleep and you accidentally bang it on something
Melissa Frost
Dec 01, 2014 rated it liked it
This is a provisional rating. I may get around to revising it upon a second read some day.
There are a lot of problems with this book, things that say "Not to be racist but...." then scan the room for POC before saying something CRAZY racist. There are interesting ideas within the mix though, really insightful assessments, but the whole "this isn't to say young girls are 'young girls'" thing does not clear the responsibility. As someone who was formerly a young girl- one very much weighed down an
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: anarchism, french, theory
"Concepts made for war don’t need to be unanimous. And it’s only natural that they’d be reproached for those aspects of them in which they slander the realities that they make visible. And as for those who have successfully blinded themselves to the nonetheless massive fact of the YoungGirl, that’s not all they’re blind to. It’s not the theory of the YoungGirl that is the product of misogyny, but the YoungGirl herself. Open any women’s magazine and you’ll see. The YoungGirl’s not always young, a ...more
Absolute utter shite. Typical post-leftist misogynistic manarchist claptrap. Do not read this book. It is a waste of text.
Feb 03, 2016 added it
This is the most misogynistic thing I've read since the bible. Why did I read this?
Dec 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This book made me self-loathe, but it also made me smile 'til my face hurt. It's full of beautiful lines that sting, and critique that feels new. Just read it.
May 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Formulae to how one may render omnipresent empire obsolete, ineffectual: through rebellion, that is the metaphysical reappropriation of Being from ignorance where the relations between subject have become objects; commodified in their thought essence, behaviour, desires, gestures, attitudes & bodies themselves-conquered by the prevailing orthodoxy.

Subsequent readings can manifest just how subversive this is, if you throw aside prevailing [absorbed] conventions of interpretation, which have t
Jocelyne Junker
May 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a confusing, and wildly narrative lacking book, but that’s also why I kind of ended up falling in love with it.

It’s a sporadic collection of ideas from multiple writers, thrown together haphazardly. I think it’s the type of book aimed to make you think about your own ideas of femininity in our current society under the reign of capitalism and consumerism, and for your to question those powers than to guide you through an overarching idea. At times it’s silly, aggressive, depressing, but
Oct 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: abandoned
I tried, I really tried, to finish this book. When its attitude and theoretical flaws became clear, I stuck with it. When it was clear the authors were posturing and offering the deep thoughts of a woke 14 year old, I stuck with it.

The format of the book is what made me throw in the towel. There is no argument presented in these pages, just random marginalia and quotes half-hazardously tossed into boxes and presented without commentary or insight. It's lazy, and betrays the fear that the authors
Oriol Burgos-Tsoffar
Some invaluable contributions to be sure, but the framework of the Young-Girl and the authors' insistence thereupon as an ungendered concept are hella problematic, as is Tiqqun's assertion that eating disorders originate from subconscious anticapitalist desires to reclaim one's relationship with the realm of the material. Iirc Deleuze and Guattari tried something similar with the schizophrenic? The authors pepper their anticapitalist critique with misogynist rhetoric, couching their sexism behin ...more
Feb 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The introduction is great - a useful and prescriptive definition of a certain contemporary consumptive entity in marxist terms. Other selections vary in, in my opinion, in terms of relevance / relevant residual misogyny - could we stop talking about HER ASS? Regardless, v worthwhile as a read on desire, reification thereof, and the personality as equivalent to consumer power.
John Cappetta
Jun 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
i feel like i know myself better having read this

it is militant in way that will keep me from recommending to my parents

well chosen moments of descent from an academic register make it a sometimes joyous read

you can download it from Tiqqun's webpage instead of buying it from MIT and i mention this bc i think it's what Tiqqun would have wanted
Jul 28, 2017 rated it it was ok
The introduction was good and said it all. The rest was a stupid joke.
Seph Mozes
May 25, 2018 rated it liked it
not sure what to make of this
Feb 26, 2019 rated it really liked it
If you read it like it's about instagram influencers and lifestyle bloggers, 90% of the book is on the mark.
Trae Alston
Oct 13, 2018 rated it it was ok
I get what Tiqqun was trying to do, but this book ultimately didn’t do it for me.
Oct 09, 2018 rated it liked it
for riff raff book club
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Tiqqun is a French collective of authors and activists formed in 1999. Their journal was the first to publish the collective author “The Invisible Committee.” Tiqqun's books include Introduction to Civil War, Preliminary Materials for a Theory of the Young-Girl, and This Is Not a Program (all published by Semiotext(e)).

Other books in the series

Semiotext(e) / Intervention (1 - 10 of 28 books)
  • Autonomia: Post-Political Politics
  • The Coming Insurrection
  • The Violence of Financial Capitalism
  • The Screwball Asses
  • Introduction to Civil War
  • A Thousand Machines: A Concise Philosophy of the Machine as Social Movement
  • The Agony of Power
  • This is Not a Program
  • Where Art Belongs
  • Atta
“Deep down inside, the Young-Girl has the personality of a tampon: She exemplifies all of the appropriate indifference, all of the necessary coldness demanded by the conditions of metropolitan life.” 0 likes
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