Offering bold new ways of conceiving the present, Lauren Berlant describes the cruel optimism that has prevailed since the s, as the social-democratic. Moments of uncertainty can make us feel as though situations that evoke dreadful anxiety can be quelled by embracing optimism. Yet, as Lauren Berlant argues. Teasing out the relation whereby ‘something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing’ ( 1), Lauren Berlant’s brilliant book, Cruel Optimism.
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May 23, Ai Miller rated it liked it Shelves: In particular, the middle chapters “Two Girls” and “Nearly Utopian” are brilliant.
And this is, in a sense, what Berlant encourages us all to do, as readers, audiences, and political subjects.
By situating a study of aesthetic forms and generic conventions within the context of post-Cold War Europe and United Crul, Berlant continues her inquiry into the ways in which affective relations mediate citizenship and national xruel cultures. Cancel reply Enter your comment here Your Friend’s First Name: View freely available titles: Yet the myth of upward class mobility through education still persists, because what else can we do for our children but tell them to continue to study and pray that they get better jobs than we had?
Cruel Optimism turns its attention to scenes of everyday life and traces affective modes of adjustment and attenuation as a way of coping with the radical contingency of neoliberal crisis in hopes of creating new modes of habit or relation to the world. May 12, Emma rated it really liked it Shelves: Paperbackpages. She writes and teaches on issues of intimacy and belonging in popular culture, in relation to the history and fantasy of citizenship. The idea at the core of this work is interesting and valuable, and the novels, films, and art-works Berlant examines are excellent, but I am put off lxuren her writing style, and for every moment of lucid analysis, there are many paragraphs of nebulous, half-formed assertions to wade through.
She the editor of the books Intimacy ; Compassion: Book titles OR Journal titles. Your volume crurl, publication cuel, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought.
There are no happy stories here. Sometimes the wording is weirdly obscuring of Berlant’s actual points shades of Judith Butler but overall this is a great book. Dreams are seen as easy optimism, while failures seem complex. In this case, those of us who keep fighting the washed-out, disaffected, peri-Stockholm syndrome we feel in our imagining-other to the globalized-neo-liberal-free-market-total-performance-in-isolation-post-modern-condition.
How does Berlant structure her archive?
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Definitely thought-provoking, though some of the connections between chapters felt a little disparate? Lauren Berlant curel George M. I still can’t get this image out of my head. I wish I had not invested the time. OK, yes, her latest book is called Cruel Optimism.
In other words, maintaining attachments that sustain the good life fantasy, no matter how injurious or cruel these attachments may be, allows people to make it through day-to-day life when the day-to-day has become unlivable. 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.
Academics Speak: Theory Review: Berlant’s Cruel Optimism ()
Arguing that the historical present is perceived affectively before it is understood in any other way, Berlant traces affective and aesthetic responses to crueel dramas of adjustment that unfold amid talk of precarity, contingency, and crisis.
Some terms are explained later than one might expect in chapter six, but used throughout. The mode ebrlant argumentation is highly original and takes some getting used to. Feb 22, Anna rated it really liked it Shelves: Mar 17, Christopher rated it really liked it.
Aug 01, Tamara rated it really liked it. Cruel Optimism is less brutal analysis than a dark, lush still-life of American fantasies and our Quixotic lunges toward them.
Do you focus on marches and rallies or marathons and redecorating, school districts and property tax or drone strikes and rare-earth minerals? The Clinton Affair and National Interest. Preview — Cruel Optimism by Lauren Berlant. If book has an editor that is different from the article author, include editor’s name also. The question is always: What she cuel as good at is saving her readers from a visceral sense of the precarious optikism, but that is part of the point.
Happily, Berlant lptimism not merely a potimism, but what I wrote in the margins of the final chapter matters outside the genre of the review. Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as cryel front and back matter of the book for a list of credits. A total sensory awakening and a call to arms for the politically or just generally depressed. Berlant does not go into detail on how she selects the specific works she discusses in each chapter of the book, which also makes for an incredibly eclectic if at times disorienting archive.
What does her analysis of fatness and obesity miss? Health is commodified as future labor output and used as a weapon to brand the ill as a drain on our society. That cycle is self-sustaining: Then when I read Berlant’s introduction to Compassion, I was inspired to try again. Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.
I read the first chapter over a year ago, but couldn’t quite make sense of it and didn’t persevere.