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Aliens & Anorexia

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  560 Ratings  ·  35 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
Feb 22, 2010 rated it it was amazing
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.
Jacob Wren
May 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favourites
I love all books by Chris Kraus. But Aliens & Anorexia holds a place in my heart far beyond all others.
Lee Foust
Aug 20, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
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
Nate D
Dec 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Before she became the groundbreaking theorist / novelist / detourned-conceptual-memoirist she is today, Chris Kraus was the maker of deft, smart experimental films, culminating in her rarely-seen, under-acknowledged feature Gravity and Grace. The film took its title from Simone Weil but explored the modern emptinesses waiting to be filled by cult membership and the aimless but determined pull towards art. It didn't do well with audiences, critics, or festivals, it seems, and both the unwieldy pr ...more
Christina knox
Aug 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing
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
M.
Dec 12, 2007 rated it really liked it
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.
Kim
Sep 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
Laura
Jan 22, 2009 rated it liked it
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
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.
Isaac
Dec 21, 2008 rated it liked it
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.
Kim
May 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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.
Andrea Crow
Jul 13, 2014 rated it it was ok
The stuff on Simone Weil is awesome. The rest is like meh.
David Haws
Jun 06, 2017 rated it liked it
If Chris Kraus had been forced to swallow her own ideas for thirty years, finally spattering herself against a brick wall at 60 MPH, I imagine the result might look something like Aliens & Anorexia. People who write for an audience are typically looking for feedback, and if your audience is not terribly bright or engaged (and you are) most of that feedback is negative. Getting used to rejection, summative evaluations become formative, and the objective of creating something pleasing to yours ...more
konner
Jul 12, 2017 rated it it was ok
meh
Christine
Apr 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
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
Patrick Gaughan
May 01, 2016 rated it liked it
Kraus's miniature biographies of cultural figures such as Paul Thek and Simone Weil are fascinating and compelling, and she does an excellent job of weaving and drawing connections between all these biographical and autobiographical materials through Aliens (male predators) & Anorexia (the feminine byproduct of such predation). However, Kraus's interaction with Gavin is much more compelling than the characters of the film, so when the final section follows only the film with no cuts back to ...more
Genevieve Michaels
Feb 10, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Caty
Dec 06, 2008 rated it really liked it
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.
Daniel Rounds
Sep 23, 2014 rated it really liked it
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.
Eyre
Jan 23, 2012 rated it liked it
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.

Vicky
Aug 22, 2010 rated it really liked it
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.
Grace
Aug 31, 2015 rated it really liked it
Reading this book made me feel like I was on drugs - exhilarating, enlightening, saddening and bewildering all at once. Chris Kraus took my emotions and put them through a philosophical shredder. Just because things seem serious, it doesn't mean they are.
Aaron
Dec 04, 2012 rated it really liked it
Chris Kraus fans will enjoy learning "where she came from"... Others may be pleasantly amused and perplexed. (Both are good things.)
Simon
Apr 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
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.
Donavan
Aug 03, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Just one of those books that could have been written by me if I were older, had a vagina, and were into S/M.
Ruby
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: here, 2015, feminisms, monsters
4.5
Ammi Emergency
Re-read. Worth re-reading. On overriding one's representation. And failed art! Art as artifact.
Zarah Butcher-McGunnigle
found this easier to get into/read than I Love Dick, actually...
Brina
Jun 05, 2007 rated it liked it
Lots of references to theorists and anorexics. Diaristic
s/m new york LA New Zeland France
Dearwassily
Apr 13, 2015 rated it really liked it
Kraus blends cultural, art, and feminist theory with philosophy and an a-personal I.
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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...
“...remaining adolescent means rejecting all compensatory lies about one's life...” 4 likes
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