David Auerbach on literature, tech, film, etc.

Choose Your Own Philosophical Adventure #1: Escape from the Dialectic

[To ring in the new year, we bring you excerpts from Escape from the Dialectic, by Erica Weitzman.]

p. 56:

“The Body without Organs?!” you exclaim. “What’s that?”

Gilles and Félix give each other a knowing look. “It’s a place where everything–even your own identity–is dissolved,” Gilles says slowly. “Some people who encounter it directly never return. Then again, it may be your only way out.”

You look at both of them, hoping for some clue to what you should do. Gilles could be right. But coming face to face with the Body without Organs could also mean risking your bounded subjectivity–even your life!

If you choose to make yourself a Body without Organs, turn to page 29.
If you want to try becoming-animal instead, turn to page 81.
If you think you should go back and talk to Jacques, turn to page 7.

p. 29:

“I’ll take the risk,” you say.

“Bravo,” says Gilles. He pulls something out of his vest pocket and hands it to you. It’s an egg, but an egg like nothing you’ve ever seen before. It’s covered all over with curious, dotted lines, like the lines on a map, and it makes a weird, almost buzzing sound. You ask what it is.

“It’s a Dogon’s egg,” explains Félix. “Just hold it in your hand, and you’ll get to the Body without Organs.”

You’re skeptical–how can a little egg be that powerful?–but you follow his instructions anyway. Before you know it, you start to feel funny, like all your skin is melting off your body. But it doesn’t feel bad–in fact, you’ve never felt more alive in your life. You can’t even see Gilles and Félix anymore: just a swirl of flashing lights, colors, and shapes…or no, of intensities…changing at every moment. You want something, but you can’t figure out what. Food? Sex? Pain? Mommy? Or maybe you want to try to speak…?

“Marshmallow cobble meow meow jumper bumper Andalusia!” you cry out. Then everything suddenly goes dark.

Turn to page 38.


  1. This looks great, but a few searches on Google and Amazon turns up very little. Is this a book or essay — and if so, where might I find it?

  2. Dear Reader,

    Thank you for your interest in Choose Your Own Adventure #1: Escape from the Dialectic. Unfortunately, this series is currently out of print, due both to poor initial sales and a protracted legal battle among the surviving relatives of the series’ creator, Dr. Frieda Ville, Ph.D., D.Phil., for the rights to her legacy. We at Quatsch Books are deeply indebted to the tireless efforts of young scholar Erica Weitzman for having negotiated an agreement with the involved parties, allowing excerpts from this important series to be made available to the public. We sincerely hope that in the future, this conflict will be resolved, and Dr. Ville’s work will get the recognition and the readership that it deserves. Until such time, however, we must content ourselves with the fragments.

    Very sincerely yours,
    Johannes de Silentio
    Editor-in-chief, Quatsch Books

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