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Addressing the other womanTextual correspondences in feminist art and writing$
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Kimberly Lamm

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9781526121264

Published to Manchester Scholarship Online: September 2019

DOI: 10.7228/manchester/9781526121264.001.0001

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Valerie Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto and the texts of aggression

Valerie Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto and the texts of aggression

Chapter:
(p.146) 4 Valerie Solanas’s SCUM Manifesto and the texts of aggression
Source:
Addressing the other woman
Author(s):

Kimberly Lamm

Publisher:
Manchester University Press
DOI:10.7228/manchester/9781526121264.003.0005

Focused on the infamous SCUM Manifesto (1967), chapter 4 examines how Valerie Solanas deployed language as a weapon capable of ‘cutting up’ patriarchal authority and demonstrates how her history as a feminist lesbian of the 1960s helps evoke a historical milieu that brings the stakes of Codex Artaud into relief. Solanas wrote at western feminism’s most violent edge – and was perceived to be a monster for doing so. Reading Solanas as both an icon of the feminist lesbian but also the ambitious writer of a tightly crafted manifesto, this chapter traces how Solanas wrote to reject the expectation that women renounce their aggression. An Artaud-like figure who also embodies madness, Solanas’s attempted murder of Andy Warhol demonstrates that this rejection can take a dangerously literal turn. More subtly, her murderous rage reveals the insanity that came from sustaining a protest alone, bereft of feminist collectivities or images that mirror the value of women’s transgressions. Drawing upon Mary Harron’s well-researched film I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), this chapter highlights Solanas’s history as an unruly feminist lesbian who, with connections to Warhol, Pop Art, Marilyn Monroe, and the typewriter, exemplifies the risks and possibilities of refusing to become an image of feminine submission and sexual availability..

Keywords:   Language as weapon, Aggression, Feminist Lesbian, Feminist collectivities, Monster, Manifesto, Typewriter

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