Preliminary Materials For aTheory of the Young-Girl
SEMIOTEXT(E) INTERVENTION SERIES TiqqunThis translation 2012 by Semiotext(e)All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced,stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, elec tronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise,without prior permission of the publisher.Published by Semiotext(e)2007 W ilshire Blvd., Suite 427, Los Angeles, CA 90057www.semiotexte.comThanks to Robert Dewhurst, John Ebert, Joshua Jordan,John Kelsey, Jason Smith, Sarah Wang and Noura Wedell.Design: Hedi El Kho!tiISBN: 978-1-58435-108-5Distributed by The MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.and London, EnglandPrinted in the United States of America10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
TiqqunPreliminary MaterialsTheoof thTranslated by Ariana Reinessemiotext(e)interventionserieso12aYoung-Girl
ContentsPreliminaries111. The Young-Girl as Phenomenon232. The Young-Girl as Technique of the Self483. The Young-Girl as Social Relation624. The Young-Girl as Commodity745. The Young-Girl as Living Currency886. The Young-Girl as Compact Political Apparatus977. The Young-Girl as War Machine1058. The Young-Girl Against Communism1149. The Young-Girl Against Herself12110. Putting an End to the Young-Girl131
- I did love you once.Hamlet
PRELIMINARIESIBehind the hypnotic grimace of official pacifica tion there is a war being waged. A war that canno longer merely be called economic, social, orhumanitarian. It has become total. Althougheveryone senses that their existence has become abattlefield upon which neuroses, phobias, soma tizations, depression, and anxiety each sound aretreat, nobody has yet really grasped what ishappening or what is at stake. Paradoxically, it isthe total nature of this war-total in its meansno less than its ends-that has allowed it toremain invisible.Rather than open offensives, Empire prefersmore intricate methods, chronic preventativemeasures, the molecular diffusion of constraintinto everyday life. Here, internal police conveniently11
takes over for general policing, individual self control for social control. Ultimately, it's theomnipresence of the new police that has made thewar undetectable.IIWhat is at stake in the current war are forms-of life, which is to say, for Empire, their selection,management, and attenuation. The stranglehold ofSpectacle over the public expression of desires, thebiopolitical monopoly on all medical power knowledge, the restraints placed on all deviance byan army ever better-equipped with psychiatrists,coaches, and other benevolent "facilitators," theaesthetico-police booking of each individualaccording to her/his biological determinations, theever more imperative and detailed surveillance ofbehavior, the proscription by common accordagainst "violence," all this enters into the anthro pological project, or rather the anthropo tech nicalproject of Empire. It is a matter ofprofiling citizens.Evidently, impeding the expression of forms-of life-forms-of-life not as something that wouldmold a material from the outside, material thatwould otherwise remain formless, "bare life," butrather as that which affects every body-in-situationwith a certain tendency, an intimate motion-doesnot result from a pure politics of repression. A12/Tf1ec1yof
whole imperial project of diversion, interference,and polarization of bodies centered on absencesand impossibilities is at work. The impact is lessimmediate but also more durable. Over time, andvia so many combined effects, THEY ultimatelyobtain the desired disarmament-in particularimmuno-disarmament-of bodies.The vanquished in this war are not so muchcitizens as those who, denying its reality, havecapitulated from the outset: what THEY allow thevanquished, in the guise of "existence," is nownothing but a lifelong struggle to render oneselfcompatible with Empire. But for the others, for us,every gesture, every desire, every affect encounters,at some distance, the need to annihilate Empireand its citizens. A question of letting passionsbreathe in their fullness. Following this criminalpath, we have the time; nothing obliges us to seekout direct confrontation. That would be proof ofweakness. Assaults will be launched, however,assaults which will be less important than the posi tion from which they originate, for our assaultsundermine Empire's forces just as our positionundermines its strategy. Accordingly, the moreEmpire will seem to be accumulating victories, thedeeper it will bury itself in defeat, and the moreirremediable the defeat will be. Imperial strategyconsists first of organizing the blindness of forms of-life and their illiteracy when it comes to ethicalPre!irninar-ies /13
differences, of rendering the battlefield difficultto distinguish if not invisible, and in the mostcritical cases, of masking the real war in all mannerof false conflicts.Retaking the offensive for our side is a matter ofmaking the battlefield manifest. The figure of theYoung-Girl is a vision machine conceived to thiseffect. Some will use it to account for the massivecharacter of hostile occupation forces in ourexistences, others, more vigorous, will use it todetermine the speed and direction of theiradvance. What each of us does with this visionmachine will show what we're worth.IIIListen: The Young-Girl is obviously not a genderedconcept. A hiphop nightclub player is no less aYoung-Girl than a beurette' tarted up like a porn star. The resplendent corporate advertising retireewho divides his time between the Cote d'Azur andhis Paris office, where he still likes to keep an eye onthings, is no less a Young-Girl than the urbansingle woman too obsessed with her consultingcareer to notice she's lost fifteen years of her life toit. And how could we account, if the Young-Girlwere a gendered concept, for the secret relationship*Slang for a French woman of North African descent.
between ultratrendy musclebound Marais homosand the Americanized petit-bourgeoisie happilysettled in the suburbs with their plastic families?In reality, the Young-Girl is simply the modelcitizen as redefined by consumer society since WorldWar I, in explicit response to the revolutionarymenace. As such, the Young-Girl is a polar figure,orienting, rather than dominating, outcomes.At the beginning of the 1920s, capitalism realizedthat it could no longer maintain itself as theexploitation of human labor if it did not also colo nize everything that is beyond the strict sphere ofproduction. Faced with the challenge from socialism,capital too would have to socialize. It had to createits own culture, its own leisure, medicine, urbanism,sentimental education and its own mores, as well asa disposition toward their perpetual renewal. Thiswas the Fordist compromise, the Welfare-State,family planning: social-democratic capitalism. Fora somewhat limited submission to labor, sinceworkers still distinguished themselves from theirwork, we have today substituted integrationthrough subjective and existential conformity, thatis, fundamentally, through consumption.The formal domination of Capital has becomemore and more real. Consumer society now seeksout its best supporters from among the marginalizedelements of traditional society-women and youthfirst, followed by homosexuals and immigrants.
To those who were minorities yesterday, and whohad therefore been the most foreign, the most spon taneously hostile to consumer society, not having yetbeen bent to the dominant norms of integration, thelatter ends up looking like emancipation. "Youngpeople and their mothers," recognized Stuart Ewen,"had been the social principles of the consumerethic." Young people, because adolescence is the"period of time with none but a consumptiverelation to civil society" (Stuart Ewen, Captains ofConsciousness). Women, because it is the sphere ofreproduction, over which they still reign, that mustbe colonized. Hypostasized Youth and Femininity,abstracted and recoded into Youthitude andFemininitude, find themselves raised to the rank ofideal regulators of the integration of the Imperialcitizenry. The figure of the Young-Girl combinesthese two determinations into one immediate,spontaneous, and perfectly desirable whole.The tomboy comes to impose herself as amodernity more stunning than all the stars andstarlets that so rapidly invaded the globalizedimaginary. Albertine, encountered on the seawallof a resort town, arrives to infuse her casual andpansexual vitality into the crumbling universe ofMarcel Proust's In Search ofLost Time. The school girl lays down the law in Witold Gombrowicz'sFerdydurke. A new figure of authority is born andshe outclasses them all.16Ithe
IVAt the present hour, humanity, reformatted by theSpectacle and biopolitically neutralized, stillthinks it's fooling someone by calling itself "citi zen." Women's magazines breathe new life into anearly-hundred-year-old wrong by finally offeringtheir equivalent to males. All the old figures ofpatriarchal authority, from statesmen to bossesand cops, have become Young-Girlified, every lastone of them, even the Pope.Among its many signs, we recognize that the newphysiognomy of Capital, only an inkling in theinterwar years, has now attained perfection. "Onceits fictive character is generalized, the 'anthropomor phosis' of Capital becomes a fait-accompli. Then themysterious spell is revealed, thanks to which thegeneralized credit that rules every exchange (frombanknotes to mortgage payments, from labor ormarriage contracts to 'human' and familial relations,from education and the diplomas and careers thatfollow, to the promises of all ideologies: all exchangesare now exchanges of dilatory appearance) strikeswith the image of its uniform emptiness the 'heart ofdarkness' of every 'personality' and every 'character. 'This is how Capital's people increase, just whenevery ancestral distinction seems to be disappearingand every specificity of class or ethnicity. It's a factthat doesn't cease to amaze that the naYve, who stillPreiirninariesI17
'think' with their gaze lost in the past" (GiorgioCesarano, Chronicle of a Masked Ball). TheYoung-Girl appears as the culminating point ofthis anthropomorphosis of Capital. The process ofvalorization, in the imperial phase, is no longersimply capitalist: IT COINCIDES WITH THE SOCIAL.Integration into this process, which is no longerdistinct from integration into imperial "society''and which no longer rests on any "objective" base,requires that every person permanently selfvalorize.Society's final moment of socialization, Empire,is thus also the moment when each person is calledupon to relate to themselves as value, that is,according to the central mediation of a series ofcontrolled abstractions. The Young-Girl wouldthus be the being that no longer has any intimacywith herself except as value, and whose every activity,in every detail, is directed to self-valorization. Ateach moment, she affirms herself as the sovereignsubject of her own reification. The unquestionablecharacter of her power, all of the crushing assuranceof this flattened being, woven exclusively by theconventions, codes, and representations fleetinglyin effect, all the authority that the least of hergestures incarnates, all of this is immediatelyindexed to her absolute transparency to "society."Precisely because of her nothingness, each ofher judgments carries the imperative weight of theentire social order, and she knows it.
vThe theory of the Young-Girl does not simplyemerge fortuitously when the genesis of the imperialorder is complete and begins to be apprehendedas such. That which emerges is nearing its end.And in its turn the Young-Girl party will have tobreak up.As the Young-Girlist formatting becomes morewidespread, competition hardens and the satisfac tion linked to conformity wanes. A qualitativejump becomes necessary; it becomes urgent toequip oneself with new and unheard-of attributes:One must move into some still-virgin space.Hollywood sorrow, the political consciousness ofTV news, vague neo-Buddhist spirituality, or anengagement in some consciousness-soothingcollective enterprise should do the trick. Thus isborn, bit by bit, the organic Young-Girl. Thestruggle for the survival of Young-Girls is fromthen on identified with the necessity to overcomethe industrial Young-Girl, with the necessity tomove on to the organic Young-Girl. Contrary toher predecessor, the organic Young-Girl no longerdisplays the urge for some kind of emancipation,but rather a high-security obsession with conservation.For Empire has been undermined at its founda tions and must defend itself against entropy. Havingattained the fullness of its hegemony, it can nowPreliminaries I 1 9
only collapse. The organic Young-Girl wouldthus become responsible, ecological, "in solidarity,"maternal, reasonable, "natural," respectful, moreself-controlled than falsely liberated, in a word,fiendishly biopolitical. She would no longer mimicexcess, but rather, moderation in all things.As we see, when the evidence of the Young Girl attains the force of cliche, the Young-Girl isalready out of date, at least in her primitive aspectof obscenely sophisticated mass production. It isat this critical moment of transition that we enterthe fray.VISo as not to give a false impression-which couldwell be our intention-the jumble of fragmentsthat follows does not in any way constitute a theory.These are materials accumulated by chanceencounter, by frequenting and observing Young Girls: pearls extracted from magazines, expressionsgleaned out of order under sometimes dubiouscircumstances. They are assembled here underapproximate rubrics, just as they were published inTIQQUN 1; there was no doubt they needed a littleorganization. The choice to expose these elementsin all their incompleteness, in their contingentoriginal state, in their ordinary excess, knowingthat if polished, hollowed out, and given a good20 / Theorv of the \'oung-Giri
trim they might together constitute an altogetherpresentable doctrine, we have chosen-just thisonce-tras h theory. The cardinal ruse of theoreti cians resides, generally, in the presentation of theresult of their deliberations such that the process ofdeliberation is no longer apparent. We figure that,faced with Bloomesque fragmentation of attention,this ruse no longer works. We have chosen a differentone. In these scattered fragments, spirits attractedto moral comfort or vice in need of condemningwill find only roads leading nowhere. It is less aquestion of converting Young-Girls than ofmapping out the dark corners of the fractalizedfrontline of Young-Girlization. And it is a questionof furnishing arms for a struggle, step-by-step,blow-by-blow, wherever you may find yourselfPreliminaries I 21
THE YOUNG-GIRL AS PHENOMENONThe Young- Girl is old insofar as she isknownto beyoung. There is therefore no question for her of bene fiting from this reprieve, which is to say of committingthe few reasonable excesses, of experiencing the few"adventures"expectedof people her age, and all thiswith an eye to the moment when she will have tosettle down into the ultimate void of adulthood.Thus, during the time it takes fo r youth to decay,social law contains its own violations, which are inthe end just exemptions.The Young-Girl is obsessed withauthenticity because it's a lie.The masculine Young-Girl is paradoxical in that she'sthe product of a sort of "alienation by contagion."Although the feminine Young-Girl appears as theincarnation of a certain alienated masculine imaginary,23
there is nothing imaginary about the alienation ofthis incarnation. It is altogether concretely that shehas eluded those whose fantasies she populates inorder to face and dominate them. As the Young-Girlemancipates herself, blossoms, and multiplies, thedream turns into an all-consuming nightmare. It's atthis point that her former slave returns to tyrannizeyesterday's master. In the end, we witness an ironicepilogue in which the "male sex" becomes both thevictim and the object of its own alienated desire.The Young-Girl is the figure of the total andsovereign consumer; she carries herself assuch in every domain of existence.The Young-Girl knows so very well the value ofthings.Often, before her decay has become too obvious,the Young-Girl gets married.The Young-Girl is only good for consuming,pleasure or work, it doesn't matter.The intimacy of the Young-Girl,now equivalent to all intimacy,has become something anonymousand exterior, an object.The Young-Girl never creates anything;All in all, she only recreates herself.24IThoorv cf the
By investing young people and women with anabsurd symbolic surplus value, by making them theexclusive carriers of the two new kinds of esotericknowledge proper to the new social order-con sumption and seduction-Spectacle has effectivelyemancipated the slaves of the past, but it has eman cipated them AS SLAVES.The most extreme banality of the Young-Girlis to take her/himself for an original.The stunted quality of the Young-Girl's language,although it implies an incontestable narrowing of thefield of experience, in no way constitutes a practicalhandicap, because it was not made to talk with, butrather to please and to repeat.Chatter, curiosity, equivocation, hearsay,theYoung Girl incarnates the fullness of improperexistence, whose categories Heidegger identified.The Young-Girl ii a liewhoJe apogee ii the /ace.When Spectacle's proclaims that woman is thefuture of man, it is naturally speaking of theYoung-Girl, and the future it predicts recalls onlythe worst cybernetic slavery.Young-GiriasF)henomenon/ 25
''No kidding!''The Young-Girl manages to live with a dozenunarticulated concepts, as her only philosophy, thatimmediately b ecome moral categories, meaningthat the whole of her vocabulary can be definitivelyreduced to the Good/Evil binary. It goes withoutsaying that, in order to consider the world, it mustbe sufficiently simplified, and in order to permither to live in it happily, the world must make manymartyrs, starting with herself.1·'Highly visible physical imperfections, even ifthey have no effect on aptitude for work, weakenpeople socially, transforming them into theinvoluntary invalids of work."(Dr. Julius Moses,Afa-Bwideszeitung, Febrnrary 1929)In the Young-Girl, what is sweetest is also thecruelest, what is most "natural" is most feigned,what is most "human'' is most machine-like.Adolescence is a recent categorycreated according to the demandsof mass consumption.The Young-Girl invariably calls "happiness"everything to which THEY chain her.26 /the Younq-Giri
The Young-Girl is never simply sad, she is alsosad that she's sad.Ultimately, the Young-Girl's ideal isdomestic.Bloom is the crisis of classic sexuation and theYoung-Girl is the offensive by which marketdomination has responded to this crisis.There is no more chastity in the Young-Girlthan there is debauchery. The Young-Girl simplylives as a stranger to her desires, whose coherenceis governed by her market-driven superego. Theennui of abstraction flows into this come.There is nothing, neither poetry nor ethnology,neither Mar xism nor metaphy sics, that theYoung-Girl cannot fit into the closed horizon ofher vapid quotidian."Albertine comes from nowhere, and is very modern in thatway: she flutters, comes and goes, from her absence ofattachments she derives the instability and the unpredictablequality which give her her power offreedom" (JacquesDubois, For Albertine: Proust and the Sense ofthe Social).When it addresses itself distinctly to the Young Girl, the Spectacle is not above a bit of bathmology.This is why the entire significance of boy-bands and!lie Yrn ing-C iri as Phenornenon / 27
girl-bands comes from making a show of the veryfact of making a show. The lie consists, here-bymeans of crude irony-in presenting as a lie what ison the contrary the truth ofthe Young-Girl.The Young-Girl is struck by sudden vertigowhenever the world stops revolvingaround her.The Young-Girl sees herself as the holder of a sacredpower: the power of commodities."I love children. They're beautiful,honest, and they smell good."The mother and the whore, as Weininger understandsthem, are equally present in the Young-Girl. But theone hardly renders her any more worthy of praisethan the other makes her worthy of blame. In fact,over time, a curious reversibility between the twocan be observed.The Young-Girl is fascinating in the manner ofall things that exhibit a closing-in-on-themselves, amechanical self-sufficiency or an indifference to theobserver, like the insect, the infant, the automaton, orFoucault's pendulum.Why must the Young-Girl always feignsome activity or other?To remain unassailable in herpassivity.28ITheory of t:ho Young-Gir!
The "freedom'' of the Young-Girl rarely goes beyond theostentatious cult of the most pathetic of the Spectacle'sproductions. Essentially, it consists in opposing a lack ofzeal with the necessities of alienation.THE FIJTIJRE Of THE YOIJNfi-lilRl: THE NAME Of A GROUP Of"COMMUNISr GIRLS. ORGANIZED IN THE SOUTHERN SUBURBSOf PARIS IN 1936 FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT. EDUCATION. ANO THEDEFENSE Of THBR INTERESTS."The Young-Girl wants to be desired withoutlove or loved without desire. There is no threat,in either case, to her unhappiness.The Young-Girlhas love STORIES.It is enough to recall what she classifies as "adventure"to get a good idea of just how much the Young-Girlfears the possible.The old age of the Young-Girl is no less hideousthan her youth. From one end to the other, herlife is nothing but a progressive shipwreck informlessness, and never an irruption of becoming.The Young-Girl wallows in the limbo iftime.As for the face of the Young-Girl, differences in age,like difference in gender, are insignificant. There is noYoung-Gir!Pi. itmornenon / 29
age to be struck by youthitude, nor is there a gender thatforbids itself a dash of femininitude.Just like the magazines THEY intend for herand which she devours so painfully, the lifeof the Young-Girl is divided and organizedinto so many columns, between which thegreatest separation reigns.THE YOUNG-GIRL IS THAT WHICH, BEINGONLY THIS, SCRUPULOUSLY OBEYS THEAUTHORITARIAN DISTRIBUTION OF ROLES.Love for the Young-Girlis just autism for two.What THEY continue to call virility is nothing morethan the infantilism of men and femininity theinfantmsm of women. Moreover, perhaps oneought to speak of virilism and of "feminism" whenso much voluntarism is mixed into the acquisitionof an identity.The same disabused stubbornness that characterizedthe traditional woman, assigned to the home withthe duty of ensuring survival, blossoms, at present,in the Young-Girl, now emancipated from thedomestic sphere and from all sexual monopoly. Shewill from now on express herself everywhere: inher irreproachable affective impermeability at30 / Thnor/
work, in the extreme rationalization she imposeson her "emotional life, " in her every step, sospontaneou sly military, in the way she fucks,carrie s herself, or taps away on her computer which is no different from the way she washes her car."One piece of information that I obtain in a well known Berlin department store is particularlyinstructive: 'When taking on sales and office staff,'says an influential gentleman from the personneldepartment, 'we attach most importance to a pleasantappearance.' From a distance he looks a bit likeReinhold Schunzel in early films. I ask him what heunderstands by 'pleasant'-saucy or pretty. 'Not exactlypretty. What's far more crucial is . . . oh, you know, amorally pink complexion.'I do know. A morally pink complexion-this com bination of concepts at a stroke renders transparent theeveryday life that is fleshed out by window displays,salary-earners, and illustrated papers. Its morality musthave a pink hue, its pink a moral grounding. That iswhat the people responsible for selection want. Theywould like to cover life with a varnish concealing itsfar-from-rosy reality. But beware, if morality shouldpenetrate beneath the skin, and the pink be not quitemoral enough to prevent the eruption of desires! Thegloom of unadorned morality would bring as muchdanger to the prevailing order as a pink that began toflare up immorally. So that both may be neutralized,Young-Clir!as PhEmorr1enon / 31
they are tied to one another. The same system thatrequires the aptitude test also produces this nice,friendly mixture; and the more rationalization pro gresses, the more the morally pink appearance gainsground. It is scarcely too hazardous to assert that inBerlin a salaried type is developing, standardized inthe direction of the desired complexion. Speech,clothes, gestures, and countenances become assimilatedand the result of the process is that very same pleasantappearance, which with the help of photographs canbe widely reproduced. A selective breeding that iscarried out under the pressure of social relations, andthat is necessarily supported by the economy throughthe arousal of corresponding consumer needs.Employees must join in, whether they want to ornot. The rush to the numerous beauty salons springspartly from existential concerns, and the use of cosmeticproducts is not always a luxury. For fear of beingwithdrawn from use as obsolete, ladies and gentlemendye their hair, while forty-year-olds take up sports tokeep slim. 'How Can I Become Beautiful?' runs the titleof a booklet recently launched on to the market; thenewspaper advertisements for it say that it shows ways'to look young and beautiful both now and forever.'Fashion and economy work hand in hand. Most people,of course, are in no position to consult a specialist. Theyfall prey to quacks or have to make do with remedies ascheap as they are dubious. For some time now theabove-mentioned deputy Dr. Moses has been fighting32I Tht30ty
in their interest in parliament, for incorporating properprovision for disfigurement into social security. Theyoung Working Community of Cosmetic Practitionersof Germany has associated itself with this legitimatedemand" (Siegfried Kracauer, The Salaried Masses: Dutyand Distraction in Wi:imar Germany, 1930).The loss of metaphysical direction is not distinct,in the Young-Girl, from the "loss of the sensory"(Arnold Gehlen) in which the extreme modernityof her alienation is verified.The Young-Girl moves in the oblivion of Being,no less than in that of the event.The incompressible agitation of the Young-Girl, inthe image of this society at its every point, isgoverned by the hidden demand to render effectivea false and pathetic metaphysics, whose mostimmediate substance is the negation of the passageof time, and the obscuring of human finitude.THE YOUNG-GIRLRESEMBLES HER PHOTO.Insofar as her appearance entirely exhaustsher essence, as her representation does herreality, the Young-Girl is that which isentirely expressible, perfectly predictable,and absolutely neutralized.ll1e Ycung-··GiriasPr·1encxnencnI 33
The Young-Girl exists only in proportion to thedesire that THEY have for her, and knows herselfonly by what THEY say she is.The Young-Girl appears as the product and theprincipal outcome of the formidable surplus crisisof capitalist modernity. She is the proof and thesupport of the limitless pursuit of the process ofvalorization when the process of accumulationproves limited (by the limits of the planet itself,ecological catastrophe, or social implosion).The Young-Girl is content to cover overwith a falsely provocative hidden sense theactual economic sense of her motivations.All the freedom of movement the Young-Girlenjoys in no way prevents her from being a prisoner,from manifesting, in every circumstance, theautomatisms of the shut-in.The way to be the Young-Girl is to be nothing.Managing to "succeed in her sentimentaland professional life at the same time":certain Young-Girls proclaim this as anambition worthy of respect.The "love" of the Young-Giril is just aworid in the didionaPy.34ITheory of the
The Young-Girl requires not onlythat you protect her,she also wants the power to educate you.The eternal return of the same styles infashion is enough to convince: The Young Girl does not play with appearances. It isappearances that play with her.Even more than the feminine Young-Girl, the mas culine Young-Girl, with his fake muscles, absurdity,which is to say, suffering, in what Foucault called"the discipline of bodies": "Discipline increases theforces of the body (in economic terms of utility) anddiminishes these same forces (in political terms ofobedience). In short, it dissociates power from thebody; on the one hand, it turns it into an 'aptitude, 'a 'capacity, ' which it seeks to increase; on the otherhand, it reverses the course of the energy, the powerthat might result from it, and turns it into a relationof strict subjection" (Michel Foucault, Disciplineand Punish) ."Oh, a girl, that receptacle of shame underbeauty's lock and key!"( Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke, 1937)There is surely no place where one feelsas horribly aloneas in the arms of a Young Girl.ihe Vounq-Gir-! as Phenomenon/ 35
When the Young-Girl gives in to her owninsignificance, she still manages to findglory in it, because she is "having fun.""This was precisely what captivated me-thematurity and autonomy of her youth, the self assurance of her style. While we, in school, hadour blackheads, constantly broke out in pimplesand ideals, while our movements were gawky andeach step was a gaffe, her exterior was entrancinglypolished. Youth, for her, was not a transitionalage-for this modern one, youth was the only timebefitting a human being. [ .] Her youth had noneed of ideals, it was in and of itself an ideal"(Witold Gombrowicz, Ferdydurke).The Young-Girl never learns anything.That's not why she's here.The Young-Girl knows all too well what shewants in detail to want anyth ing in general.The triumph of the Young-Girl originatesin the failure of feminism.The Young-Girl does
The Young-Girl as Phenomenon 23 2. The Young-Girl as Technique of the Self 48 3. The Young-Girl as Social Relation 62 4. The Young-Girl as Commodity 74 5. The Young-Girl as Living Currency 88 6. The Young-Girl as Compact Political Apparatus 97 7. The Young-Girl as War Machine 105 8. The Young-Girl Against Communism 114 9.
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