This month, in Passa Porta, Paul Preciado, author of Pornotopia: An Essay on Playboy’s Architecture & Biopolitics, writes about love, relationships, and books. Click here to learn more about Pornotopia, which comes out in paperback this October. Click here to read the full article. An excerpt appears below:
“Every year when September begins, a cosmic and benevolent hand mutes the sun and pushes a wave of cold wind from the northern fjords that sooner or later hits the city and carries away at least a small part of the air that chokes us. September is a good month, it is the time when new books, like puppies born at the beginning of the summer, come out for the first time to play in the public square, with their soft pads and their bright backs. Bookstores fill up with these unknown bodies. Some manage to enter into some houses, to be part of a library, to lie on bedside tables, and even to get into foreign beds. Books, like viruses, are intermediate entities between the object and the living being.
A library is a material biography, written in the words of others, made up of the accumulation and order of the different books that someone has read in their lifetime. In addition, and although this may seem paradoxical or unpleasant to those professionally engaged in writing — but it is good news for booksellers —, to build a library as a biography one should count those books owned without having been read, those that rest on shelves or wait on tables but have never been opened or looked at, either entirely or partially. In a biography, unread books are indicators of frustrated desires, fleeting wishes, broken friendships, unsatisfied vocations, secret depressions that hide behind the appearance of overwork or lack of time. They are sometimes masks that the false reader wears to emit literary signals aimed at triggering the sympathy or complicity of other readers. At other times, as on an Instagram page, only the cover, the author’s name or even the title of a book count. The unread books are a capsule which contains unrealized futures, concentrated piece of times, indicating a direction that life could have taken but did not … or that it might still take.”