Outrageous and violent, SCUM Manifesto was widely lambasted when it first appeared in 1968. Valerie Solanas, the woman who shot Andy Warhol, self-published the book just before she became a notorious household name and was confined to a mental institution. But for all its vitriol, it is impossible to dismiss as the mere rantings of a lesbian lunatic. In fact, the work has proved prescient, not only as a radical feminist analysis light years ahead of its time—predicting artificial insemination, ATMs, a feminist uprising against underrepresentation in the arts—but also as a stunning testament to the rage of an abused and destitute woman.
In this edition, philosopher Avital Ronell’s introduction reconsiders the evocative exuberance of this infamous text.