CRUEL OPTIMISM

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Cruel Optimism

Author : Lauren Berlant
ISBN : 0822351110
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 31.93 MB
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A relation of cruel optimism exists when something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing. Offering bold new ways of conceiving the present, Lauren Berlant describes the cruel optimism that has prevailed since the 1980s, as the social-democratic promise of the postwar period in the United States and Europe has retracted. People have remained attached to unachievable fantasies of the good life—with its promises of upward mobility, job security, political and social equality, and durable intimacy—despite evidence that liberal-capitalist societies can no longer be counted on to provide opportunities for individuals to make their lives “add up to something.” Arguing that the historical present is perceived affectively before it is understood in any other way, Berlant traces affective and aesthetic responses to the dramas of adjustment that unfold amid talk of precarity, contingency, and crisis. She suggests that our stretched-out present is characterized by new modes of temporality, and she explains why trauma theory—with its focus on reactions to the exceptional event that shatters the ordinary—is not useful for understanding the ways that people adjust over time, once crisis itself has become ordinary. Cruel Optimism is a remarkable affective history of the present.
Category: Literary Criticism

Cruel Optimism

Author : Lauren Berlant
ISBN : 0822350971
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 78.33 MB
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A relation of cruel optimism exists when something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing. Offering bold new ways of conceiving the present, Lauren Berlant describes the cruel optimism that has prevailed since the 1980s, as the social-democratic promise of the postwar period in the United States and Europe has retracted. People have remained attached to unachievable fantasies of the good life—with its promises of upward mobility, job security, political and social equality, and durable intimacy—despite evidence that liberal-capitalist societies can no longer be counted on to provide opportunities for individuals to make their lives “add up to something.” Arguing that the historical present is perceived affectively before it is understood in any other way, Berlant traces affective and aesthetic responses to the dramas of adjustment that unfold amid talk of precarity, contingency, and crisis. She suggests that our stretched-out present is characterized by new modes of temporality, and she explains why trauma theory—with its focus on reactions to the exceptional event that shatters the ordinary—is not useful for understanding the ways that people adjust over time, once crisis itself has become ordinary. Cruel Optimism is a remarkable affective history of the present.
Category: Literary Criticism

Sex Or The Unbearable

Author : Lauren Berlant
ISBN : 9780822377061
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 45.58 MB
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Sex, or the Unbearable is a dialogue between Lauren Berlant and Lee Edelman, two of our leading theorists of sexuality, politics, and culture. In juxtaposing sex and the unbearable they don't propose that sex is unbearable, only that it unleashes unbearable contradictions that we nonetheless struggle to bear. In Berlant and Edelman's exchange, those terms invoke disturbances produced in encounters with others, ourselves, and the world, disturbances that tap into threats induced by fears of loss or rupture as well as by our hopes for repair. Through virtuoso interpretations of works of cinema, photography, critical theory, and literature, including Lydia Davis's story "Break It Down" (reprinted in full here), Berlant and Edelman explore what it means to live with negativity, with those divisions that may be irreparable. Together, they consider how such negativity affects politics, theory, and intimately felt encounters. But where their critical approaches differ, neither hesitates to voice disagreement. Their very discussion—punctuated with moments of frustration, misconstruction, anxiety, aggression, recognition, exhilaration, and inspiration—enacts both the difficulty and the potential of encounter, the subject of this unusual exchange between two eminent critics and close friends.
Category: Social Science

Desire Love

Author : Lauren Berlant
ISBN : 9780615686875
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 52.1 MB
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"There is nothing more alienating than having your pleasures disputed by someone with a theory," writes Lauren Berlant. Yet the ways in which we live sexuality and intimacy have been profoundly shaped by theories - especially psychoanalytic ones, which have helped to place sexuality and desire at the center of the modern story about what a person is and how her history should be read. At the same time, other modes of explanation have been offered by popular and mass culture. In these domains, sexual desire is not deemed the core story of life; it is mixed up with romance, a particular version of the story of love. In this small theoretical novella-cum-dictionary entry, Lauren Berlant engages love and desire in separate entries. In the first entry, Desire mainly describes the feeling one person has for something else: it is organized by psychoanalytic accounts of attachment, and tells briefly the history of their importance in critical theory and practice. The second entry, on Love, begins with an excursion into fantasy, moving away from the parent-child structure so central to psychoanalysis and looking instead at the centrality of context, environment, and history. The entry on Love describes some workings of romance across personal life and commodity culture, the place where subjects start to think about fantasy on behalf of their actual lives. Whether viewed psychoanalytically, institutionally, or ideologically, love is deemed always an outcome of fantasy. Without fantasy, there would be no love. Desire/Love takes us on a tour of all of the things that sentence might mean.
Category: Literary Criticism

Two Girls Fat And Thin

Author : Mary Gaitskill
ISBN : 9781439128800
Genre : Fiction
File Size : 85.43 MB
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This captivating novel shimmers with dark intensity and wicked wit. In a stunning synthesis of eroticism, rage, pathos, and humor, Gaitskill's "fine storyteller's pace and brilliant metaphors" (The New York Times Book Review) create a haunting and unforgettable journey into the dark side of contemporary life and the deepest recesses of the soul.
Category: Fiction

The Affect Theory Reader

Author : Melissa Gregg
ISBN : 9780822347767
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 33.18 MB
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A collection of essays on affect theory by groundbreaking scholars in the field
Category: Literary Criticism

Philosophical Reflexivity And Entrepreneurship Research

Author : Alain Fayolle
ISBN : 9781317232049
Genre : Business & Economics
File Size : 73.10 MB
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Entrepreneurship research attracts scholars from a wide spectrum of disciplines. Yet the field is multi-paradigmatic and lacking consensus, even on the nature of core entrepreneurial phenomena. What is recognized is that it is characterized by dynamic and emergent processes - a complex interplay between actors, processes and contexts. As a result, post-positivistic approaches are gaining traction in a field long dominated by positivistic philosophies. This book reflects on the fundamental philosophical basis of entrepreneurship scholarship. It explores the shifting meanings of entrepreneur and entrepreneurship, the unexamined assumptions which lie behind the established discourses which legitimize or dismiss the possibilities for scholarship. Contributing scholars adopt a reflexive approach to entrepreneurship research challenging readers to question their approaches and assumptions and explicitly defend them against competing alternatives. Building on this critical reflection, this book provides space for philosophical reflexivity in the conduct and publication of scholarly enquiry and will be of great interest to scholars, researchers and advanced students in all aspect of entrepreneurship study.
Category: Business & Economics

Ugly Feelings

Author : Sianne NGAI
ISBN : 9780674971349
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 29.9 MB
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Ngai mobilizes the aesthetics of unprestigious negative affects such as irritation, envy, and disgust to investigate not only ideological and representational dilemmas in literature--with a particular focus on those inflected by gender and race--but also blind spots in contemporary literary and cultural criticism. Her work maps a major intersection of literary studies, media and cultural studies, feminist studies, and aesthetic theory.
Category: Literary Criticism

Ordinary Affects

Author : Kathleen Stewart
ISBN : 9780822390404
Genre : Social Science
File Size : 89.33 MB
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Ordinary Affects is a singular argument for attention to the affective dimensions of everyday life and the potential that animates the ordinary. Known for her focus on the poetics and politics of language and landscape, the anthropologist Kathleen Stewart ponders how ordinary impacts create the subject as a capacity to affect and be affected. In a series of brief vignettes combining storytelling, close ethnographic detail, and critical analysis, Stewart relates the intensities and banalities of common experiences and strange encounters, half-spied scenes and the lingering resonance of passing events. While most of the instances rendered are from Stewart’s own life, she writes in the third person in order to reflect on how intimate experiences of emotion, the body, other people, and time inextricably link us to the outside world. Stewart refrains from positing an overarching system—whether it’s called globalization or neoliberalism or capitalism—to describe the ways that economic, political, and social forces shape individual lives. Instead, she begins with the disparate, fragmented, and seemingly inconsequential experiences of everyday life to bring attention to the ordinary as an integral site of cultural politics. Ordinary affect, she insists, is registered in its particularities, yet it connects people and creates common experiences that shape public feeling. Through this anecdotal history—one that poetically ponders the extremes of the ordinary and portrays the dense network of social and personal connections that constitute a life—Stewart asserts the necessity of attending to the fleeting and changeable aspects of existence in order to recognize the complex personal and social dynamics of the political world.
Category: Social Science

The Queen Of America Goes To Washington City

Author : Lauren Gail Berlant
ISBN : 0822319241
Genre : Political Science
File Size : 66.6 MB
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Drawing on literature, the law, and popular media--and "taking her (counter)cue from that celebrated sitcom of American life, 'The Reagan Years'" (Homi K. Bhabha)--Berlant presents a stunning and major statement about the nation and its citizens in an age of mass mediation. Her intriguing narratives and gallery of images will challenge readers to rethink what it means to be an American and seek salvation in its promise. 57 photos.
Category: Political Science