After having read and loved the SCUM Manifesto I’ve been trying to read more about Valerie Solanas, which is difficult because there isn’t really a biography of her out there. All I can find is fragments of her story in various feminist academic essays, and they focus pretty exclusively on her shooting Andy Warhol. I find it really sad that that’s what she ended up being defined by. From what I can tell she was smart and funny and had an interesting life and ultimately ended up getting emotionally damaged by the assholes at the Factory and wound up getting the whole rest of her life defined someone she hated.
SCUM Manifesto is my favorite kind of passionately angry ultrablack satire, and with a nice techno-utopian undercurrent to it that almost lets me forgive her unironic use of the word “kooky.” I wish I could engage further with Solanas in some way, that I could read more of her stuff and know more about her, and I can’t, really. It makes me sad.
Add her to the list of “authors I’m sad I’ll never get to read more of,” along with David Foster Wallace, Jack Kirby, Douglas Adams, and Samuel R. Delany’s The Splendor and Misery of Bodies, of Cities, which was going to be the second part to the beautiful Stars in my Pocket like Grains of Sand but was abandoned after Delany split up with his partner and witnessed the AIDS epidemic spreading through the gay community. Delany’s not dead, but the book’s never going to be finished anyway. The age it was written for is gone.