The Parapornographic Manifesto
by Carl-Michael Edenborg

Literary Nonfiction.
ISBN: 9780983148043
1 April 2013

“Edenborg talks with humour about the impossibility of obliterating shame. He claims that until we see our politicians and our newsreaders nude, gaping, and erect in public we have not yet absolved ourselves of shame. While that might sound like a scene from a video on an adult website such as, the sentiment rings somewhat true. The parapornographic has no interest in removing shame; in fact the parapornographic understands the impossibility of this and instead knows that ‘the boundaries of shame are not erased, and they will never be wiped out, they will only be moved about.’”

– Laura Joyce, 3am Magazine

“The parapornographic of Edenborg exemplifies a kind of post-post-modernity… the goal/intention/desire isn’t rooted in furthering or transcending history, but a Deleuzean? Deleuzional? kind of entanglement – and alternative to teleological progression.”

– Leif Haven, HTML Giant

“Edenborg’s manifesto shines brightly within a constellation that includes Bosch’s garden, Spinoza’s philosophy of immanence, Bataille’s essays, Duchamp’s artworks, Ballard’s Crash, and Acker’s mash-ups. Sexuality in the realm of parapornography is not a place of humanist truths and psychological meaning (a vision of sexuality that dovetails all-too-neatly with the neo-liberal vision of the atomized, rationalist self) but rather an event that destroys ‘meaning and identity through a mechanical repetition.’ What I like best about Edenborg’s brilliant and provocative book is that it brings into play, in an almost Blakean manner, so many seeming contraries: it’s both anti-utopian and thoroughly communistic, proletarian and ethereal, a paean to hate and shame and yet an argument for the revolutionary (and anti-social) possibilities of love, a nuanced historical overview of sexual imagery and also a glimpse into a future that seems only pulse-beats away.”

— James Pate


Carl-Michael Edenborg (b. 1967) is an author and a historian of ideas. He also operates the literary press Vertigo, which has published such writers as Nikanor Teratologen, Dennis Cooper, Unica Zürn, Marquis de Sade and Samuel Delany.