Valerie Solanas’ Defacement of Scum Manifesto


The Olympia Press, 1968 edition of SCUM MANIFESTO held by the New York Public Library defaced by Valerie Solanas in 1977.


Mr. Lannon speculated that Ms. Solanas slipped into the library in 1977, when she apparently returned to New York for the first time in several years. She had served time in prison for the 1968 shooting of Warhol and had been in and out of mental institutions, including one in Florida.

At the library, she would have filled out a slip requesting the book. It would have been pulled from the shelf and handed to her, he said.

Ms. Solanas scratched out her name on the cover and wrote “by Maurice Girodias.” Mr. Girodias, who had published that version of Ms. Solanas’s text, was famous for having published Vladimir Nabokov’s “Lolita,” which had put him at odds with censors in France. He published Ms. Solanas’s 11,000-word text under the imprint of his Olympia Press.

“She’s creating intellectual capital,” Mr. Lannon said, “but it’s being taken away from her — I think that’s how she saw it.”

In her anger, Ms. Solanas wrote “flea” beside Mr. Girodias’s name inside the book. She also wrote, “Read my version and events in my next book.” (She told The Village Voice she had received a $100 million advance for that next book — from “the mob.”)

On the title page, she wrote “This is not the title.” She also wrote that Mr. Girodias’s edition was “full of sabotaging typos.”

On the copyright page, she wrote “LIES! FRAUD!” She also circled “S.C.U.M.” and wrote, “Never! Never!”

Inside the back cover, she wrote, “Lies! Lies!” Then she signed her name.

Ms. Solanas did some copy-editing on the back cover, too. The published version had white lettering on a red background. “Only three years ago, we used to make fun of Valerie Solanas, agitator, writer and would-be revolutionary — with her wild, insane radical feminism,” it said. “Then we were horrified when she shot Andy Warhol in 1968, just to make a point.” She crossed out the last five words and wrote, “Lie.”

– James Barron, ‘Warhol’s Assailant Left Another Mark, on a Library Book’, New York Times blog, February 22, 2012,


Original self-­published mimeograph
of 21 A4 pages 1967 edition


About anti

Anthony Iles is currently a doctoral candidate at the School of Art & Design, Middlesex University. A founder member of the Full Unemployment Cinema. A contributing editor with Mute / Metamute since 2005. He is the author, with Josephine Berry-Slater, of the book, No Room to Move: Art and the Regenerate City (Mute Books, London 2011), contributing editor to the recent publications, Anguish Language: writing and crisis (Archive Books, Berlin, 2015), and Look at Hazards, Look at Losses (Mute/Kuda, 2017) and a contributor to Brave New Work: A Reader on Harun Farocki’s Film A New Product. Recent essays have been published in Mute, Radical Philosophy, Rab-Rab: Journal for Political and Formal Inquiries in Art and Logos.
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3 Responses to Valerie Solanas’ Defacement of Scum Manifesto

  1. Comrade says:

    Happy new year.

  2. Solanas says:

    Why not write any more?

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