An Apartment on Uranus - Paul B. Preciado
An Apartment on Uranus by Paul B. Preciado
Translated by Charlotte Mandell
Published by Fitzcarraldo Editions, 2020
Uranus is the coldest planet in the solar system, a frozen giant named after a Greek deity. It is also the inspiration for Uranism, a concept coined by the writer Karl Heinrich Ulrichs in 1864 to define the ‘third sex’ and the rights of those who ‘love differently’. Following in Ulrichs’s footsteps, Paul B. Preciado dreams of an apartment on Uranus where he can live, free of the modern power taxonomies of race, gender, class or disability. In this bold and transgressive book, Preciado recounts his transformation from Beatriz into Paul B., and examines other processes of political, cultural and sexual transition, reflecting on socio-political issues including the rise of neo-fascism in Europe, the criminalization of migrants, the harassment of trans children, the technological appropriation of the uterus, and the role artists and museums might play in the writing of a new social contract. A stepchild of Michel Foucault and Judith Butler, Preciado argues, with courage and conviction, for a planetary revolution of all living beings against the norm.
‘Paul B. Preciado has the magic ability to fire off imperatives that don’t feel bossy, but rather incite us to join him in whatever crackling energy, urgent curiosity, and dynamic nomadism is flowing through him. Reading these chronological missives offers the real pleasure of Preciado’s company in time, and inspires us not just to stay with our trouble, but to greet it with unstoppable speech, complex solidarity, glitter, and defiance.’
— Maggie Nelson, author of The Argonauts
Paul B. Preciado is the author of Counter-Sexual Manifesto (Columbia University Press), Testo Junkie: Sex, Drugs and Biopolitics (The Feminist Press) and Pornotopia (Zone Books), for which he was awarded the Sade Prize in France. He was Head of Research of the Museum of Contemporary Art of Barcelona (MACBA) and Director of the Independent Studies Program (PEI) from 2011 to 2014. From 2014 to 2017 he was the Curator of Public Programmes of documenta 14. He is currently the Resident Philosopher at the Centre Pompidou and lives in Paris, France.
Charlotte Mandell has translated fiction, poetry, and philosophy from the French, including works by Proust, Flaubert, Genet, Maupassant, Blanchot and many other distinguished authors. She has received many accolades and awards for her translations, including a Literature Translation Fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts for Zone by Mathias Enard. Her translation of Enard’s Compass was shortlisted for the 2017 Man Booker International Prize.