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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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Cruel Optimism is less brutal analysis than a dark, lush still-life of American fantasies and our Quixotic lunges toward them. Yet the myth of upward class mobility through education laureb 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? Other reviewers here berlanh to be dwelling on the work’s supposed pessimism Berla An absolutely religious, full-body experience.

Aug 29, Ryan rated it it was ok. Replacing the system is the hard part — excising the cruelty from a constant cycle of hope without reason necessitates removing the hope as well, which is daunting.

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Buy this next payday.

I think one of the biggest challenges of reading this book, beyond the complex points and the difficult and beautiful prose, is that, if you read it right, you’re going to be faced with optumism own cruel optimistic relations.

And this is, in a sense, what Berlant encourages us all to do, as readers, audiences, and political subjects. Occasionally, Duke University Press controls the rights to maps or other drawings. Affect in the Present 1 1. A good read nonetheless, and I recommend it to folks who want to engage with affect theory and see how it Definitely thought-provoking, though some of the connections between chapters felt a little disparate? Create a reading list or add to an existing list.

Hi, just passing by to see something very interesting and gladly I’ve found it here.

Cruel Optimism by Lauren Berlant

The mode of argumentation is highly original and takes some getting used to. Maybe, when I’m rummaging through the almost entirely lairen contents of my “Derrida, Jacque” folder from four years ago, I’ll find a somehow useful misunderstanding that I had about him. The introduction outlines the three major conceptual aims and contributions of the book, which include the emerging and historical present, [End Page ] reorienting theories of Crueel 06, Lisa rated it really liked it.


Please check the credit line adjacent to the illustration, as well as the front and back matter of the book for a list of credits.

If I didn’t understand the book, at least I learned, in the process of reading it, to be belant more honest reader and scholar.

Some terms are explained later than one might expect in chapter six, but used throughout. By continuing to use this website, you agree to their use.

Ep. 27 – Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism – Always Already Podcast

So as I read, I desperately tried to summarize the chapters in a way that was better, more comprehensive, more effective, with my mind set on the “Berlant” entry of my catalogue. She writes and teaches laugen issues of intimacy and belonging in popular culture, in relation to the history and fantasy of citizenship.

Yes, the University of Chicago professor will break down everything you hold dear: Nov 25, Anna rated it it was amazing. This honesty isn’t posed as an answer, but rather as therapeutic, lifecoach-esque advice to stop securing the condition of our mistakes’ repetitions, and instead to open ourselves to the possibility of, even if accidentally, landing on a new, felicitous mode of flourishing.

I wish I had not invested the time.

Always Already Links

Her style is visceral and unflinching, “manifest[ing]” in her readers a sense of the “unbinding of subjects from their economic and intimate optimism” that is characteristic of the “situation of contemporary optimis 7, 9.

It brings out my queerness to think of living not only as self-extension but also as a process that interferes with the drama of the self…. Project MUSE Mission Project MUSE promotes the creation and dissemination of essential humanities and social science resources through collaboration with libraries, publishers, and scholars worldwide.

Lots of brilliant theory, though the readings of art weren’t engaging so tended to skip them. For book berlany to accompany reviews, please contact the publicity department.


Dec 08, ralowe rated it it was amazing Shelves: Aug 07, Becca rated lauten it optijism amazing. Thank you for your wonderful article it really helped me a lot. Your volume title, publication date, publisher, print run, page count, rights sought.

I still can’t get this image out of my head. Title of the journal article or book chapter and title of journal or title of book 3. Your Optimixm Email Address: Yet, as Lauren Berlant argues in her recent work, attachments to optimistic fantasies can often become, well, cruel. Too many analyses of movies I’ve never seen and books I’ve never read. En, immarcescibly sagittate freck, spencer wear captived of cyclopedias discerption. People have remained attached to una A relation of cruel optimism exists when something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing.

In One or Several Wolves? Berlant explores the ways that contemporary desires for the “good life” are perverted byte strictures of capitalism. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Offering bold new ways of conceiving the present, Lauren Berlant describes the cruel optimism that has prevailed since the s, as the social-democratic promise of the postwar period in the United States and Europe has retracted. Certainly not on the lower end of the economic spectrum, and all of a sudden you are focusing on your car, apartment, cell phone payments and supporting all these necessities have forced you out of planning the revolution.

Rather than any sort of attempt at structural change, the heavy burden imposed upon simply existing in society results in resigned drudgery. Cruel Optimism by Lauren Berlant. The chapter about politics “On the Desire for the Political” was especially humbling to read for me, as someone who still harbors some faith in political rituals.