Read Les Guerilleres by Monique Wittig Online


One of the most widely read feminist texts of the twentieth century, and Monique Wittig’s most popular novel, Les Guérillères imagines the attack on the language and bodies of men by a tribe of warrior women. Among the women’s most powerful weapons in their assault is laughter, but they also threaten literary and linguistic customs of the patriarchal order with bullets. InOne of the most widely read feminist texts of the twentieth century, and Monique Wittig’s most popular novel, Les Guérillères imagines the attack on the language and bodies of men by a tribe of warrior women. Among the women’s most powerful weapons in their assault is laughter, but they also threaten literary and linguistic customs of the patriarchal order with bullets. In this breathtakingly rapid novel first published in 1969, Wittig animates a lesbian society that invites all women to join their fight, their circle, and their community. A path-breaking novel about creating and sustaining freedom, the book derives much of its energy from its vaunting of the female body as a resource for literary invention....

Title : Les Guerilleres
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ISBN : 9780252074820
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 144 Pages
Status : Available For Download
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Les Guerilleres Reviews

  • Mala
    2019-06-04 10:25

    They say henceforward what they are is not subject to compromise. They say they must now stop exalting the vulva. They say that they must break the last bond that binds them to a dead culture. They say that any symbol that exalts the fragmented body is transient, must disappear. Thus it was formerly. They, the women, the integrity of the body their first principle, advance marching together into another world.Wittig's book is inextricably linked with her feminist theory but can also be enjoyed as experimental fiction. In lyrical vignettes it creates a community of women at war with patriarchy; their collective life, ways of living, fragments of memories as recalled via myths & stories by the (elderly?) few because the majority of them have no recollection of the past, a past they learn of through "feminaries" & paintings but they'll have no truck with such an old life — the women have inexorably moved on.The women say that they could not eat hare veal or fowl, they say that they could not eat animals, but man, yes, they may. He says to them throwing his head back with pride, poor wretches of women, if you eat him who will go to work in the fields, who will produce food consumer goods, who will make the aeroplanes, who will pilot them, who will provide the spermatozoa, who will write the books, who in fact will govern? Then the women laugh, baring their teeth to the fullest extent.This is the kind of book Tarantino would've turned into a smashing movie: a revisionist feminist tale, thousands of "Brides" killing Bills everywhere, or a highly pretentious art movie, the kind that does the festival circuits, given its ambiguity & controversial nature. The book's appeal is not hard to see — its evocative world building, its poetic images containing a paradoxical world of violence & ruin: Fury Road Part 2.And for the theory inclined, Wittig's take on feminism as an economic & political issue rather than a biology based one, the need for a new language/expression which covers both the subjective & materialist aspects of the feminist history, etc, are points to ponder over. The women say, the men have kept you at a distance, they have supported you, they have put you on a pedestal, constructed with an essential difference. They say, men in their way have adored you like a goddess or else burned you at their stakes or else relegated you to their service in their back-yards. They say, so doing they have always in their speech dragged you in the dirt. They say, in speaking they have possessed violated taken subdued humiliated you to their hearts' content.In my culture a woman's patience is compared to that of the Earth: what weight it doesn't carry?! But when she reaches the end of her tether; the tectonic plates shift...What extreme circumstances have brought the women here to turn against the men, to their total repudiation, is not conveyed — only a hint at centuries of subjugation, exploitation & oppression. The periodic invocation & incantation of female names spread across culture, religion, myth & literature convey a female solidarity & a continuity across time & space. This collective of warrior women invoke Minerva, the Goddess of War, & their older Amazonian sisters for inspiration.Les Guerilleres portrays an extreme world, but in a world of Boko Haram, Taliban, & ISIS — when pushed to the brink; women might take up arms!Whatever they have not laid hands on, whatever they have not pounced on like many-eyed birds of prey, does not appear in the language you speak. This is apparent precisely in the intervals that your masters have not been able to fill with their words of proprietors and possessors, this can be found in the gaps, in all that which is not a continuation of their discourse, in the zero, the O, the perfect circle that you invent to imprison them and to overthrow them.Just when I thought okay enough of male bashing -- I can't imagine a world without men. What good is a Utopia if it can't last? (Unless women can self-impregnate in Children of Men fashion.) Men are not the enemies; the system is. Wittig's radical feminism struck a conciliatory note & (view spoiler)[ young males joined the women in their quest for a total overhaul of the system!(hide spoiler)]Still, putting power solely in the hands of women is not going to change the status quo because women are just as much capable of meanness & exploitation. The system of the Boss still remains the system of the Boss, right? Wittig anticipated that reaction too & put in a humorous aside the male reaction: (view spoiler)["When the world changes and one day women are capable of seizing power and devoting themselves to the exercise of arms and letters in which they will doubtless soon excel, woe betide us. I am certain they will pay us out a hundredfold, that they will make us stay all day by the distaff the shuttle and the spinning-wheel, that they will send us to wash dishes in the kitchen. We shall richly deserve it."(!) (hide spoiler)]Well, an intense read. Mercifully, it was brief.******************More quotes for sampling:(view spoiler)[ "Men have made what differentiates them from you the sign of domination and possession. They say, you will never be numerous enough to spit on their phallus, you will never be sufficiently determined to stop speaking their language, to burn their currency their effigies their works of art their symbols. They say, men have foreseen everything, they have christened your revolt in advance a slave revolt, a revolt against nature, they call it revolt when you want to appropriate what is theirs, the phallus. The women say, I refuse henceforward to speak this language, I refuse to mumble after them the words lack of penis lack of money lack of insignia lack of name. I refuse to pronounce the names of possession and non-possession. They say, If I take over the world, let it be to dispossess myself of it immediately, let it be to forge new links between myself and the world."They say they are leaving the museums the show-cases the pedestals where they have been installed. They say they are quite astonished that they can move."Their violence is unleashed they are in a paroxysm of rage, in their devastating enthusiasm they appear wild-eyed hair bristling clenching their fists roaring rushing shrieking slaughtering in fury one might say of them that they are females who look like women when they are dead. "The women address the young men in these terms, now you understand that we have been fighting as much for you as for ourselves. In this war, which was also yours, you have taken part. Today, together, let us repeat as our slogan that all trace of violence must disappear from this earth, then the sun will be honey-coloured and music good to hear. The young men applaud and shout with all their might. They have brought their arms. The women bury them at the same time as their own saying, let there be erased from human memory the longest most murderous war it has ever known, the last possible war in history."They say, there is no more distressing spectacle than that of slaves who take pleasure in their servile state. They say, you are far from possessing the pride of those wild birds who refuse to hatch their eggs when they have been imprisoned. They say, take an example from the wild birds who, even if they mate with the males to relieve their boredom, refuse to reproduce so long as they are not at liberty.""It is we who historically must undertake the task of defining the individual subject in materialist terms. This certainly seems to be an impossibility since materialism and subjectivity have always been mutually exclusive. Nevertheless, and rather than despairing of ever understanding, we must recognize the need to reach subjectivity in the abandonment by many of us to the myth « woman » (the myth of woman being only a snare that holds us up). This real necessity for everyone to exist as an individual, as well as a member of a class, is perhaps the first condition for the accomplishment of a revolution, without which there can be no real fight or transformation. But the opposite is also true; without class and class consciousness there are no real subjects, only alienated individuals. For women to answer the question of the individual subject in materialist terms is first to show, as the lesbians and feminists did, that supposedly « subjective, » « individual, » « private » problems are in fact social problems, class problems; that sexuality is not for women an individual and subjective expression, but a social institution of violence."—Monique Wittig, From the essay, 'One Is Not Born A Woman'.(hide spoiler)]

  • Nathan
    2019-06-13 16:09

    Les Guérillères by Monique Wittig, David Le Vay (Translator) 3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  274 ratings  ·  33 reviews One of the most widely read and frequently cited feminist novels of our time. [with 10 editions]Must have been some other time, someone else’s time. Of my gr=Friends, only JSA Lowe has read it. Previously marked as to=read by Jonathan, Ali, Jeremy, with Lisa giving it the nod just three days ago. Top gr=Review has 4 Likes. On the other hand, last I checked in at The Village Bookshop, this nugget was on the shelf in six or eight exemplar ; all of them priced US$8 to 12 (estimate). That’s a lot of bread for 144 pages. And over at (this being a found=pun) amazonia, the Lara Croft cover sells for 22 bucks (free=ship), used. My paperback from 1985 (Beacon Press) is going for 30.86, used [the amazon db on this book is as bad as gr typically is ;; another entry is located wherein it is selling for less than four bucks, free=ship]. There are, naturally, other editions, somewhat more affordable. BUT---what I wanted to get at is a) is that it is not widely read but b) it is read widely enough that even a bookshop with multiple unread copies on its shelf still asks for healthy money. Why? Because when it does get read it gets read by revolutionary cells ready to shell out any amount of cash. Which is appropriate. It is a book which readily recommends itself to revolutionary cells, aka, Reading Groups. SoundtrackGuerrillas by Nailbomb.We Will Rise by Arch Enemy.Penis Envy the album by Crass.It’s a M.A.N.S. World by Napalm Death. Have it a second time. Shaved Women by Crass. And to keep those shivers shimmying up that spine, Yesterday Is Dead And Gone by, you know it, Arch Enemy featuring our favorite growler, Angela. Because :: Revolution Begins.

  • Meg Powers
    2019-06-10 12:17

    This book really deserves a review more in-depth than "lyrically written disjointed barbarian woman vignettes," but that's all I got right now. It handles militant feminism in a palatable and beautifully written way that I don't find at all isolating or discomforting. It avoids the "men are pigs" cliche, even when the Amazonian barbarian babes are spearing them down,flaying them open, and tanning their hides. A lot of gorgeous pastoral,post-apocalyptic imagery punctuated by pages featuring either large letter "O"s (which,in the book, are vulval symbols) or columns of female names both elaborate and mundane (Clytemnestra, Anne,etc etc). I love creative formatting used within prose narratives, so these interludes were exciting.I am curious whether or not Les Guerilleresinfluenced the Louis Malle film Black Moon in any way; they share in common a brutal war between the sexes and both emphasize the female side. They also share a surrealistic narrative set in a pastoral,sheltered,dystopian environment. Something to think about.Anyway, I strongly recommend it. It balances femininity and brutality excellently, never favoring one over the other.

  • Anna Springer
    2019-06-08 13:11

    This is one of the first books that taught me how to write a novel that works more like a multimedia installation than a regular event-contingent narrative. It is a brilliant, gorgeous book that not enough people know about. And, even if the boys at the end are girlish pony-tail boys who live to serve and sing Marxist songs, I can overlook that simple (but sexy to some) fetishization of feminized masculinity and call this work a proto-punk feminist masterpiece.

  • AK
    2019-06-14 14:20

    What is the plot? I don't know. The plot is female rage and barbarism, distrust of the symbolic order, glittering images of the wild planet, flowers and bloodshed, ending with a ray of communist hope. The plot is amorphous gendered fury cut through with ritual recitations of the named and specific, because every woman is also an individual. This is also the best baby name book ever written, I'd change my name to Anemone Flavien posthaste, but I actually quite like the one I've got. Monique Wittig might be the writer who finally convinces me to learn French.

  • Jacob Wren
    2019-05-31 16:25

    Monique Wittig writes:They play a game. It is performed on an enormous parade-ground. The ground is divided into zones corresponding to the colours of the spectrum. There are a hundred and fifty violet hoops a hundred and fifty indigo hoops a hundred and fifty blue hoops a hundred and fifty green hoops a hundred and fifty yellow hoops a hundred and fifty orange hoops a hundred and fifty red hoops. The teams consist of seventy-five persons each, arranged on either side of the midline of the parade-ground. Each team has equal strips of violet indigo blue green yellow orange red territory. A machine situated at the centre of the parade-ground ejects the hoops one after another at a fast pace. They rise vertically above the heads of the players. They rotate on themselves. At the same time they describe a vast circle which continuously increases, due to the momentum imparted to them by the machine. The path of their movements would be an immense spiral. The women playing must catch the hoops without leaving the coloured zones allotted to them. Very soon there is an indescribable tumult of bodies jostling each other in the attempt to take hold of the same hoop or to withdraw from the confusion.And:News has arrived from the assembly that is compiling a dictionary. The example proposed to illustrate the word hate has been rejected. It concerns a phrase of Anne-Louis Germaine. The women have transformed hate into energy and energy into hate. It has been adduced as a reason that the phrase contains an antithesis and therefore lacks precision. The bearer of these tidings, who is called Jeanne Sbire, is hissed. The women surround her jostle her insult her. Jeanne Sbire weeps hot tears, saying she cannot help it. Then the women get angry saying that an antithesis is indeed involved and why has it not been supressed, retaining the first part of the phrase which alone has any meaning. Then they chant at the top of their voices the famous song which begins, Let a hundred flowers blossom, a hundred schools compete..

  • Bryan
    2019-06-20 16:16

    After at last overcoming the trauma of menstrual painting, I'm trying to rectify years of neglect of lesbian feminism by giving this one a shot. The prose is taut and the vignettes attempt to deal with the community or the crowd without burdening the reader with a psychological narrative centered around the development of one individual. The whole thing is rife with political implications that I'm only beginning to discover, but this is so much better than reading ethnographic descriptions of ritual that seek to nostalgically claim a lost, primal communal experience. Maybe it is my vulva envy, or longing for a feminist ethics that escapes biological determinism, but It would be nice if adolescent boys read this instead of Burroughs. What are glenuri?

  • Conrad
    2019-06-07 15:20

    Either this hadn't been translated yet when I was in college or it was really hard to find, but I was stuck reading it in French. There's nothing like trying to parse euphemisms for the clitoris in a foreign language. It's a fantasy-esque story (sort of) of what all-female community might look like, like a more obtuse, abstract version of Joanna Russ's book The Female Man, which I suspect it inspired. It's interrupted every so often with lists of mythological heroines' names. Sometimes a little self-indulgent, but that may also be the point. Really fierce.

  • Monica
    2019-06-20 10:01

    Same style and format as The Lesbian Body. Wittig turns gender dogma on its head in such a beautiful way. Great for students taking feminist theory, even if the text is not assigned.

  • Rachel
    2019-06-20 09:09

    "They say, men in their way have adored you like a goddess or else burned you at their stakes or else relegated you to their service in their back-yards. They say, so doing they have always in their speech dragged you in the dirt. They say, in speaking they have possessed violated taken subdued humiliated you to their hearts' content. They say, oddly enough what they have exalted in their words as an essential difference is a biological variation. They say, they have described you as they described the races they called inferior. They say, yes, there are the same domineering oppressors, the same masters who have said that negroes and women do not have a heart spleen liver in the same place as their own, that difference of sex difference of colour signify inferiority, their own right to domination and appropriation. They say, yes, these are the same domineering oppressors who have written of negroes and women that they are universally cheats hypocrites tricksters liars shallow greedy faint-hearted, that their thinking is intuitive and illogical, that nature is what speaks most loudly in them. They say, yes,these are the same domineering oppressors who sleep crouched over heir money-bags to protect their wealth and who tremble with fear when night comes." "They have attached a particular word to an object or a fact and thereby consider themselves to have appropriated it. The women say, so doing the men have bawled shouted with all their might to reduce you to silence. They say, the language you speak is made up of words that are killing you.""Better for you to see your guts in the sun and utter the death-rattle than to live a life that anyone can appropriate. What belongs to you on this earth? Only death.""The women say, shame on you. They say, you are domesticated, forcibly fed, like geese in the yard of the farmer who fattens them. They say, you strut about, you have no other care than to enjoy the good things your masters hand out, solicitous for your well-being so long as they stand to gain. They say, there is no more distressing spectacle than that of slaves who take pleasure in their servile state. They say, you are far from possessing the pride of those wild birds who refuse to hatch their eggs when they have been imprisoned. They say, take an example from the wild birds who, even if they mate with the males to relieve their boredom, refuse to reproduce so long as they are not at liberty."

  • Laura Gaelx
    2019-05-20 15:09

    Compleja y curiosa obra de ficción escrita en prosa poética por la autora de célebres ensayos sobre feminismo lesbiano. Narra, y a la vez se convierte en sí misma, la revolución social y lingüística contra el heteropatriarcado y el binarismo de género. La sociedad de Las Guerrilleras nace tras vencer en cruenta batalla no a los hombres sino al logofalocentrismo y al contrato sexual. Y a partir de ahí desarrollan su lenguaje, sus ritos, sus relaciones.“Dicen que como son portadoras de vulva ya conocen lo que las caracteriza. Conocen el monte, el pubis, el clítoris, las ninfas los cuerpos los bulbos de la vagina. Dicen que se enorgullecen a justo título de lo que durante mucho tiempo se ha considerado el emblema de la fecundidad y del poder reproductor de la naturaleza.”El sexo está presente como un elemento más. Pero sobre todo está presente el símbolo y el mito. La herradura, el óvalo, la o, el cero, el círculo, el anillo vulvar. Sin embargo, es necesario superarlo:“Dicen que, llegadas a este punto, deben examinar el principio que las viene guiando. Dicen que no tienen por qué extraer su fuerza de unos símbolos. (...) Dicen que, por consiguiente, hay que dejar de exaltar las vulvas. Dicen que deben romper el último vínculo que las sujeta a una cultura muerta. Dicen que todo símbolo que exalte el cuerpo en fragmentos es temporal, debe desaparecer.”Ya desde su propio título, llama la atención el uso de la violencia por parte de las mujeres. Y no la ejercen contra los varones sino con animales o entre ellas, de una forma natural, como una parte más de la vida.

  • Jamie
    2019-06-03 12:23

    I was really debating whether or not to give this one 4 stars, but I'd say it's more of a 3.5, leaning down. I like Wittig-her essay "One is Not Born a Woman" is one of my faves in fem theory, and I really enjoy several from her collection "The Straight Mind." I see where she's going with Les Guerrileres, I do, and I respect it and often there are incredibly beautiful passages. I had tons of highlighting on fierce moments, and enjoyed reading it as it happened. But now I've set the book down and I have trouble recalling any specific thread or scene or character (well, there really aren't characters, per se) that struck me. Part of this is Wittig's aesthetic/project, but I suppose in that way I'm more conventional in my literary lovin' than I thought. When I enjoy pomo lit, it's because of ideological tactics (re: Atwood) or fanciful parody (re: Angela Carter) and 'content,' to be reductive. So radically attacking form as Wittig does--that I can theorize to death, but don't necessarily *love* in the way I do my favorite books.It's good. It's quite good, in fact. I just suppose it doesn't fit my palate as wonderfully as other 'weird' lit. However (*dons Ivory Tower cap*), I do think it was a really valuable read for any well-meaning academic. There's tons here to dissect-and as I said, often, Wittig has an incredible pizazz in phrasing and imagery. Check it out if you're wanting a challenge.

  • Helynne
    2019-06-02 13:10

    Cryptic, but intriguing, this is probably the best-known work of the late Monique Wittig. The title does not refer to "female warriors” in the literal sense, but more in terms of women’s struggles in society throughout history. The novel is actually more of an anti-erotic work as Wittig’s goal is to downplay all the sexual stereotypes on the female body and advocate that society stop reacting to women simply in terms of their anatomy. She says women should fit in to the universality of human experience. About every third page in the novel, Wittig has a random list of women’s names from all periods of history and all different kinds of ethnic groups to indicate how all women belong in the dynamic of the human family. The fact that Wittig was a Lesbian writer is less important than her passionate defense of womankind in all areas of life. This rather bizarre novel may not be for everyone, but it is definitely creative and vital to modern feminist literature.

  • Kira
    2019-06-03 08:28

    I'm trying to read this in French. Wish me luck. Even so, Wittig's prose gleams through; makes me wish i could read it faster! In the next few weeks, I might get in a few pages a day at best.[About a year later:This is such a beautiful book. I wish I could read it without stumbling through with a French dictionary in hand. I think a translation would ruin the effect. Especially one that translates "elles" as "the women," as I've heard that the published English translation does. Talk about missing the point!]*Update, ~9yrs later*i want to read this again. i translated just a little bit of it for a paper on Heidegger and gender that i had to write for school. now, i have very little interest or patience for Heidegger, but something is pulling me back to Wittig.

  • the gift
    2019-06-12 14:06

    problem 1: this is a series of prose poems. poetry is difficult to translate. i do not read french. problem 2: radical feminist. some scenes ripe for worst anti-feminist satire. same with overarching symbol, asking it to carry many meanings, this being the o, the circle, the ‘vulval ring’. maybe all problems because of the attempt to create a feminist language. problem 3: i am not lesbian but hetero. and a man. on the other hand, i like joanna russ’s female man… oh well, book is short, at least.

  • Chloe
    2019-06-15 12:29

    Stylistically, this really reminded me of Jeanette Winterson's writing, though published long before her. The separated paragraphs serving to recount several concurrent narrative lines recalled Sexing the Cherry. It's always interesting for me to discover where the authors I enjoy find their inspiration.

  • l.
    2019-06-18 11:31

    White women need to stop using slavery as a metaphor.

  • Brian
    2019-06-18 08:14

    This book is a true feminist/sci-fi treasure.A utopian/dystopian society of lesbians take on the known world, with bullets...

  • Shelley
    2019-05-22 13:24


  • Bill Brydon
    2019-06-07 12:21

    "They speak together of the threat they have constituted towards authority, they tell how they were burned on pyres to prevent them from assembling in future. They were able to command tempests, to sink fleets, to destroy armies. They have been mistresses of poisons, of the winds, of the will. They were able to exercise their powers at will and to transform all kinds of persons into mere animals, geese pigs birds turtles. They have ruled over life and death. Their conjoint power has menaced hierarchies systems of government authorities. Their knowledge has competed successfully with the official knowledge to which they had no access, it has challenged it, found it wanting, threatened it, made it appear inefficacious."

  • Denise
    2019-05-21 13:07

    The form of the book is unusual. It’s a series of paragraphs that don’t always make sense as a story. Small sections pulled me along because they were so harshly true, or beautiful. Eventually the story emerged, and it was interesting, but not as good as the little pieces taken individually. This is a radical book about the power of women, their bodies, language, symbols and circles. Shocking to read, sometimes tenderly familiar, other times sickeningly strange.

  • Ella
    2019-05-26 13:31

    4.5Weird and kinda unsettling but I liked it.

  • Sarah
    2019-06-17 14:20

    I am clearly not cut out for post-modern books. I admit this fault straight away, so that those of you who find them appealing can safely close this review, safe in the knowledge that I'm hopelessly out of touch.With that past, Les Geurilleres was a slog for me. I love both science fiction and feminist theory, so the description had me waiting with bated breath for this book to be delivered. Alas, it is the style of writing which put me off, and the theory contained within is just simply outdated.As I've previously stipulated, post-modern writing styles just don't gel for me. It leaves me in a constant state of bewilderment, reading back and forth over the same sentences to try and construct the world being described. Again, this is a personal fault to which I am happy to cop, but it's not one I've been able to get over. Since it is a matter of preference, I won't dwell too much on the writing style, as I suspect it perfectly suits those who do appreciate post-modernism.Since I'm not focusing on the writing, what's left is the theory. Wittig seems comfortably ensconced between first and second wave feminism. While some of what she's got to say is still extremely relevant (especially the passages regarding language, and how language carries with it oppression), she is mired in the obsession with the female genitalia that has led to trans* exclusionary feminism running rampant. I can appreciate that at the time, a celebration of female sex characteristics was revolutionary, and I don't know enough about Wittig to know if she later evolved on this subject. While I do try to see this in context, it simply read as old-fashioned and potentially harmful.Further, Wittig also deploys the "women as slaves" narrative that is positively tedious from white feminists. There is nothing I can say on this point that Audre Lorde or bell hooks has not said better, and more eloquently, so I would advise the reader to get thee to a bookstore for more on that subject. On the bright side, Wittig does focus heavily on myths of cultures other than the stereotypical European culture, so that was a pleasant change from some feminist texts. Her women are of all colours, though unfortunately due to the writing style there are very few personalities which stand apart.I suspect Les Guerilleres is perhaps best suited for a historical understand of feminist thought, and not so much for modern day application. But even then, I would always recommend an author such as hooks or Lorde over this, since I found very little of genuine reading value within.

  • Natalie Cannon
    2019-06-13 10:27

    Les Guérillères is more a circular art installation than a book and I kind of loved it. It's more abstract than I'm used too, but the insistence on the femme was such a breath of fresh air while I trudge through the bogs of MFA reading. From page one, Les Guérillères has a sense of all encompassing wholeness to it that literary fiction always seems to be searching for.Before you pick it up, here's some tips that prepared me for reading: (1) the "story" is told in a series of very lyrical vignettes from the POV of 3rd person omniscient narrator; (2) from what I can tell, the lack of commas/listing of synonyms is to connote that women encompass all of this, it is part of them, they are one body, etc; (3) the intrusion of names and circles is a reminder that WOMEN WOMEN WOMEN THIS IS STORY ABOUT REAL WOMEN WITH REAL NAMES (PS it is super trippy to see your own and your friends' names listed); (4) The plot functions sort of like a circle and time skips around/backtracks/fast-forwards a lot; (5) multiple generations of women live and die throughout; (6) Yes, they did eat that man. Wittig is juxtaposing stark bloodlust/battle/warfare/dystopia with the idyllic/pastoral because she is awesome; (7) It also helps to think of the book as a found feminary. In short, Les Guérillères is a no holds barred intersectional feminist fest, and it is absolutely awesome.

  • Bart
    2019-05-30 08:13

    "The women say that they could not eat hare veal or fowl, they say that they could not eat animals, but man, yes, they may. He says to them throwing his head back with pride, poor wretches of women, if you eat him who will go to work in the fields, who will produce food consumer goods, who will make the aeroplanes, who will pilot them, who will provide the spermatozoa, who will write the books, who in fact will govern? Then the women laugh, baring their teeth to the fullest extent" (97).Unfortunately, the rest of the book is not as great as this vignette. Monique Wittig's Les Guérillères is a series of non-narrative descriptions of an armed feminist revolution. Interspersed throughout these snapshots are pages with 15-20 names of revolutionary women in all caps or a large "O," meant to represent the vulva. While I enjoyed parts of Les Guérillères, the form was hard for me to handle.

  • Sarah
    2019-05-26 15:09

    Almost like a series of short dreams. Sometimes fascinating, sometimes sensuous, sometimes revolting. Always strong. Ideas that were empowering to women reading this in the late 1960's and early 1970's are still empowering to women today. In Wittig's world of wild women, Feminaries are the ancient sacred texts through which women learn about the intricacies of their bodies, and their sexuality. OOOOOOOO

  • Sophia Ramos
    2019-06-16 12:30

    CD, this reading was just way too over my head for me to follow it. Like we discussed, there were sections that I completely and totally loved, or phrases and passages that really spoke to me, but there's no real way of me discussing this book in an intelligent matter. It's the epitome of "I like it but I don't get it." Kind of like Inception.

  • Michelle
    2019-06-19 15:17

    Incoherent and plotless. Terrible world building. Boring, despite explicit violence and explicit descriptions of female genitalia. Tries to be profound, but fails. The individual passages aren’t too bad, but there is absolutely nothing to tie them together. The constant listing of women’s names in capital letters did not add to the story.

  • Andrea
    2019-05-20 12:22

    I would like to get a copy of this in english, as I think I'm missing a lot of the nuances reading it in the original french. But I found her vision of a female society interesting, all the more so for it's ephemeral feeling. It was...not vague, but a little dream like. Or maybe my french is not up to par.

  • Gabby
    2019-05-21 08:23

    I really enjoyed this book. The prose were gorgeous, the style of writing compelling. My only warning to readers would be that when it gets violent, it gets extremely, unbelievably violent. So be forwarned. Also if you are offended by 'misandry,' this book is not for you.