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The Screwball Asses

4.03  ·  Rating details ·  172 ratings  ·  12 reviews
A founder of Queer theory contends that the ruling classes have invented homosexuality as a sexual ghetto, splitting and mutilating desire in the process.

Alone in his forest dwelling, an ogre had spent years building machines to force his visitors to make love to one another: machines with pulleys, chains, clocks, collars, leather leggings, metal breastplates, oscillatory,
Paperback, 87 pages
Published January 1st 2010 by Semiotext(e)
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sex is dumb
Feb 15, 2010 rated it it was amazing
"In my entire life, I have only ever really met that which I was not trying to seduce"

This book is challenging; by this, I do not refer to its' erudite vocabulary or considered prose, but to its' clear-eyes analysis of queer culture as a necessary construct of a homophobic capitalist culture. It seems Guy Hocquenghem would have found good company at a contemporary workshop on pansexuality or polyamoury, yet penned this text in 1973; this is its' first English publication. He was post-old-left;
Aug 11, 2010 rated it it was amazing
What I love is how EVERYONE comes under fire in this hilarious analysis of gay culture. Most reviewers jump on Hocquenghem's scathing critique of the bourgeois left, but what I find more surprising from this revolutionary May 68er is his insight into the predatorial, anti-sentimental views (and practices) of the gay/activist arena and the dialectic that ensues from this contradiction...a problematic we certainly still live within.

As G.H. writes, "Clearly, love and death are banned from the
Dan Humphrey
Feb 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
An engaging, thought-provoking example of queer theory avant-la-lettre.
Jun 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
The last chapters of the book coalesce into thunder and lightning. I've been generally meandering through the work, agreeing here, disagreeing there. Then wham it all comes together.

Hocquenghem wrestles with various details about attempts at radical homosexuality in the 70s. His words are dated, his comments speaking to a highly fragmented queer community that seems very different from today (no duh, I know).

However, he hates how many scripts he responds to even as he tries to radicalize. He
Jul 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
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Published in 1973, Hocquenghem provided one of the first examples of Queer theory and provided a necessary critique on traditional psychoanalytical perspectives on Homosexuality.

While starting off dry, this small book quickly becomes an intimate dialogue between the reader the Hocquenghem. Though several texts are referenced, I find the most engaging part is Hocquenghem's own experience.

Hocquenghem separates the Homosexual from his desires towards the same gender. It's constantly reiterated
Tyler Monsein
Jan 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
"This situation has reached the point where the strangeness and phantasmagorical anomaly of daily life that capitalism has created is fought against even before it is perceived. Since they know that every thing is misery, exploitation and political trickery, and since they have established that everything must be systematically criticized, they have completely forgotten the pleasure of observing their surroundings. [...] Physical sensibility to the planet and the play of receptive organs would ...more
Jun 27, 2010 rated it really liked it
I definitely need another read through this one (its conveniently a small/short one), but I'm quite fascinated by it. Central to its discussions are topics of homosexual relationships and shifting power, confusion of revolutionary homosexual acts, so so much more. Its dense, but I like it :)
Oct 25, 2010 rated it liked it
An interesting work especially historically as a proto-queer theory. Good for lambasting the 70's gay/lesbians right movements. He sometimes comes to bizarre conclusions.
Feb 19, 2011 rated it it was amazing
need to reread this.
Feb 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A little dated, but absolutely amazing!
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Guy Hocquenghem, essayist and activist, is often considered the father of Queer theory. He was the author of Homosexual Desire (1972) and L'Amour en relief (1982). The Screwball Asses is his first work available from Semiotext(e).
“Rather than being lovers in order to breathe, we are queer in order to escape asphyxia.” 8 likes
“Here, we rebuilt the Leftist theater. There, we rebuilt the carnival of stars to assemble the next barricades in evening gowns. Theory for the sake of theory collided with madness for the sake of madness,and they both tried to reconcile themselves in the imperialism of youth and beauty.” 3 likes
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