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Crack Wars


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Ronell uses culturally acceptable addictions such as romance novels, gasoline and more to ask why "there is no culture without drug culture".

About the Author

Avital Ronell is a professor of German at New York University. She is author of Dictations: On Haunted Writing, The Telephone Book, Finitude's Score, and Stupidity. Her essays have appeared in Diacritics, Differences, Genre, Modern Language Notes, Stanford Italian Review, Studies in Twentieth Century Literature, Substance, and many other journals.


"Avital Ronell is perhaps the most interesting scholar in America." -- Gregory Ulmer, author of Teletheory "This is another wake-up call from the most exciting critic working today. ... her switchboard lights up a conference call on the challenge to critical invention and intervention posed by the drug crisis. It is her dazzling accomplishment to have fused the crackling urgency of current events with the premonitions of philosophy and the prescience of literature." -- Sanford S. Ames, Substance "Ronell produces a text of cultural criticism in the best sense, not just as a critique of a cultural text, but a stunning indictment of the text that is our culture." -- American Book Review "Ronell reminds us that the 'war on drugs' is also and always a struggle for the minds as well as the veins of people. (Ronell) deserves the avid following that is building for her work. Crack Wars will reward your patience." -- San Francisco Chronicle "At the center of Crack Wars is Ronell's constitutive reading of Madame Bovary, that 'clinic of phantasms,' the urtext of toxic modernity." -- David Levi Strauss, Artforum

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