Paperback(Translatio)

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Overview

How the brutalities of working life are transformed into exhaustion, shame, and self-doubt: a writer's account of her experience working in an Amazon fulfillment center.

No longer able to live on the proceeds of her freelance writing and translating income, German novelist Heike Geissler takes a seasonal job at Amazon Order Fulfillment in Leipzig. But the job, intended as a stopgap measure, quickly becomes a descent into humiliation, and Geissler soon begins to internalize the dynamics and nature of the post-capitalist labor market and precarious work. Driven to work at Amazon by financial necessity rather than journalistic ambition, Heike Geissler has nonetheless written the first and only literary account of corporate flex-time employment that offers “freedom” to workers who have become an expendable resource. Shifting between the first and the second person, Seasonal Associate is a nuanced expose of the psychic damage that is an essential working condition with mega-corporations. Geissler has written a twenty-first-century account of how the brutalities of working life are transformed into exhaustion, shame, and self-doubt.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781635900361
Publisher: Semiotexte/Smart Art
Publication date: 12/04/2018
Series: Semiotext(e) / Native Agents
Edition description: Translatio
Pages: 240
Sales rank: 334,917
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 7.90(h) x 0.80(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Chris Kraus is the author of four novels, including I Love Dick and Summer of Hate; two books of art and cultural criticism; and most recently, After Kathy Acker: A Literary Biography. She received the College Art Association's Frank Jewett Mather Award in Art Criticism in 2008, and a Warhol Foundation Art Writing grant in 2011. She lives in Los Angeles.

What People are Saying About This

From the Publisher

The recent wave of uprisings at Amazon fulfillment centers across Europe make this book even more timely than when it first appeared. But the reasons to read it will last well beyond this news cycle. Heike Geissler has sharp eyes and ears for the absurd indignities that contemporary capitalism inflicts on most people—and how it afflicts women, in particular. Her dispatch is also a rescue mission to take back language from the corporations that have colonized it. Turning the managerial address against itself, she turns it into an instrument of discovery of I and You, a self who is always also other, which is one kind of solidarity. I'd say she's a latter day feminist Robert Walser, but the narrator would cringe at the sales pitch. Buy it—just not You Know Where.

Moira Weigel , author of Labor of Love

In Seasonal Associate , Heike Geissler proves to us, with playful and elegant certainty, that a job is never just a job. Her daily experiences during the Christmas rush in an all-too-real German Amazon warehouse serve as a launchpad for beautifully layered reflections on politics, money, workplace crushes, anxiety, the possibility of choice, and how thinking might navigate a world that almost totally refuses it. As Amazon, and corporations like it, continue to eat the world, this book pulls back the curtain and gives life to all our accursed questions and reflections about how things work (and don't work) behind the scenes. Truly a book for our age.

Jacob Wren , author of Authenticity Is a Feeling and Polyamorous Love Song

Endorsement

In Seasonal Associate, Heike Geissler proves to us, with playful and elegant certainty, that a job is never just a job. Her daily experiences during the Christmas rush in an all-too-real German Amazon warehouse serve as a launchpad for beautifully layered reflections on politics, money, workplace crushes, anxiety, the possibility of choice, and how thinking might navigate a world that almost totally refuses it. As Amazon, and corporations like it, continue to eat the world, this book pulls back the curtain and gives life to all our accursed questions and reflections about how things work (and don't work) behind the scenes. Truly a book for our age.

Jacob Wren, author of Authenticity Is a Feeling and Polyamorous Love Song

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