Fall 2013

The Anti-Sexus

A new device for the Soviet market

Andrei Platonov

On the following pages is the first English translation, by Anne O. Fisher, of Andrei Platonov’s “Anti-Sexus,” written in 1926. Originally signed “Andrei Platonov, translator from the French,” the text purported to be a promotional pamphlet translated into Russian by Platonov. “The Anti-Sexus” was not published in its original Russian until 1981, when it was included in a special issue of Russian Literature, with annotations provided by Thomas Langerak; the endnotes provided here rely heavily on his authoritative commentary.

From the Translator:

Below we have appended the text of an advertising pamphlet published in eight languages by the Industriale Internationale Revü in New York.[1]

It is impossible to deny the exceptional literary and advertising talent of this pamphlet’s author, just as it is impossible to deny this businesslike composition’s imperialistic cynicism, prim pornography, and monstrous vulgarity, the magnitude of which provoke nothing less than sorrow. However, there is something in the style of this brochure with a decided whiff of Anatole France, if we may be so bold as to here pronounce that noble, honest name; and this, in part, gave us the courage to publish such an unprecedented work.

No document characterizes the epoch of the bourgeoisie’s living decay, its utter moral atrophy, better than the one appended below. Even we, as experienced professional readers, have never read anything like it.

Even though we’re ready for anything these days from the warmongering bureaucrats and capitalist, fascist fat cats who’ve offered their testimonials about the advertised device, we never thought they could be so completely devoid of sense and lacking in basic tact.

Comrade Shklovsky, who employed his formal method to comment with such deft irony on all this drivel, is of course omitted from the preceding catalogue.

Apparently it’s not physiology that has hit the mark (“the brain is one of the last organs to decompose”); it’s a Russian Bolshevik slogan, “reason is the first thing to go”—for those whom History wants to punish.

This is perfectly true, and this is why the entire world reeks to high heaven of the Anglo Euro-Americans’—indeed, that whole imperialist sector’s—demonstrable fiction.

Therefore the surest contra-“antisexual” agitprop is the publication of this curious document, for now the fixed expression on people’s faces will shift, and their faces will be illuminated by rosy-pink laughter: the greatest friend of soul and stomach, and the fiercest enemy of all this suffocating industrial, moral, and physiological insanity.

Patented Devices
Berkman, Châteloy, and Son, Ltd.[2]

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