Libidinal Economy is written in a combination of styles, reading more like an avant-garde novel than a philosophical text.
The irony of this book is its author would probably hate if it were to seen as his signature work. Lyotard once indicted Libidinal Economy as an 'evil book, the book of evilness that everyone writing and thinking is tempted to do'. This evil book comes back to mind whenever I'm forced to confront…let's call them cultural values in exchange. Let me give an example. I made an acquaintance in Paris, with a very erudite man who runs one of those esteemed cultural institutions that fashion people accidentally haunt for purposes of a defilé without realizing the nature of the real business that goes on in this landmark cultural space. The conversations between us were never actually very intellectual but were vaguely sexual, as we shared a lover. As in he was the ex, I am the current. Or so we all assume, in an arrangement that is apparently a very French way of conducting one's emotional business. He wasn't threatened by me as he is apparently quite wealthy and I wasn't threatened by him since I was the much better…dancer. One day we were all having dinner at a restaurant in the high bourgeoise section of the Marais, (which I prefer to call by its English name, "The Swamp". ) As usual the waiter handed him the check, though dinner was on me and I joked, "We can never escape the libidinal economy can we?" . He laughed and then I thought, who would have thought that one of the most unreadable of Jean François Lyotard's early works could have proved so useful .