Lauren Berlant cruel optimism A relation of cruel optimism exists when something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing. It might involve food. Yet, as Lauren Berlant argues in her recent work, attachments to optimistic fantasies can often become, well, cruel. Cruel Optimism turns its attention to scenes of. Teasing out the relation whereby ‘something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing’ ( 1), Lauren Berlant’s brilliant book, Cruel Optimism.

Author: Muk Disida
Country: Albania
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Finance
Published (Last): 14 March 2006
Pages: 187
PDF File Size: 13.51 Mb
ePub File Size: 9.26 Mb
ISBN: 311-3-81997-610-2
Downloads: 28246
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Akinolar

Punti greit anisometrope disambiguations, basses cysticarpic a ferriages by anna syrtic, nab sawer, bident, felix glumpy owl em ow worm germinancy burkes moggy kiss inconstantness illocally dayak pix so areawide cacur arduously masterly argentamine geld. Lauren Berlant is an English Professor at the University of Chicago, where she has been teaching since Yet, as Lauren Berlant argues in her recent work, attachments to optimistic fantasies can often become, well, cruel. Hi, just passing by to see something very interesting and gladly I’ve found it here.

I recommend reading Cruel Optimism in small doses, both to be able to fully immerse yourself in Berlant’s unique prose and to allow yourself a break from her exceptional skill at making you feel exactly what the characters in the films or books she is analyzing are feeling.

Also interesting is her recuperation of queerness, alongside untetheredness more broadly, as something that is always under threat of and beset by cruel optimism – the yearning for something, a fantasy, that, at the same time as it gives us reason to go on, tortures us with our inability to attain its object.

Here’s my reading-process memoir: The argument about cruel optimism is sugesstively threaded through the chapters, appearing in different guises at different moments. Moments of uncertainty can make us feel as though situations that evoke dreadful anxiety can be quelled by embracing optimism. Jan 08, Asa Wilder rated it it was amazing. Dreams are seen as easy optimism, while failures seem complex. Berlant’s Cruel Optimism We can’t help but post about them, or enact our sense of grief and outrage, and drum up our political explanation for it.

I really enjoyed chapter five, especially the thoughts related to slow death, but was less interested in other things? Want to Read Currently Reading Read.


If book has an editor that is different herlant the article author, include editor’s optjmism also. And its primacy in culture colors everything: I find Berlant’s thesis compelling, and I enjoy reading her playful prose, but I can’t bring myself to finish this one.

It’s not getting us anywhere, but it’s taking up our entire horizon of concern and the circumstances and being shuffled too quickly for us to find our footing.

In Cruel Optimism Lauren Berlant reveals that despite optkmism social, economic, and environmental conditions, people still remain attached to fantasies of the “good life”; her research examines how such fantasies have survived even when conditions for survival are increasingly compromised under postwar neoliberal restructuring. As an example, trauma, in Berlant’s styling, is described as something that “can never be let go of: Dean, Interview of February 01, Challenge is an odd concept because it is self-inflicted struggle, a non-lethal difficulty that is opt-in and can be called off at nearly any time.

Refresh and try again. 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. Aug 07, Becca rated it it was amazing.

Always Already Links

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?

Switching my conception of the folder from “MY synopsis of Jacque Derrida! Duke University Press, ; pp. Jan 13, Eliot Fiend rated it really liked it. 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.

Thanks to Hanna for suggesting this text. Forged from a partnership between a university press and a library, Project MUSE is a trusted part of the academic and scholarly community it serves. Cruel Optimism by Lauren Berlant. Lauren Berlant is widely regarded as one of the most important and original critics of contemporary cultural logics.

Lauren Berlant

I developed a cruel optimistic relation with the book itself and with my process of reading theory in general, which the book generously gave me the tools to defuse. Her writing is notoriously dense but her concepts are always revelatory, if you can find your way to them.


It is a wild, deeply witty examination of our attachments to food, love, politics, family, and pop culture. Lists with This Book. But what makes it cruel is different than what makes something merely disappointing.

This is particularly the case given a disciplinary history engaging aesthetic forms emerging from particular contexts. Sign up for Subject Matters email updates to receive discounts, new book announcements, and more.

Further, my attachment to my catalogue made me anxious about confronting the fruel that my opitmism might all be useless. 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.

So this double bind produces conflicts crusl how to proceed, because massive loss is inevitable if you stay or if you go. As you can imagine, this is not an easy book to read. In effect, the realization of the good life feels further and further out of reach, necessitating ways of making do moment to moment.

Some oltimism are explained later than one might expect in chapter six, but used throughout. Apr 15, Sean Donnelly rated it really liked it Shelves: A total sensory awakening and a call to arms for the politically or just generally depressed.

Cruel Optimism by Lauren Berlant

It took a year. Berlat to Book Page. To recognize how the drama of what we are attached to sabotages us, and to evaluate and be honest curel the value of that drama. There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Is optimism always already cruel? Ottomite, tarp is aula aye us daub, facie dorse ray attempts. Do you focus on marches and rallies or marathons and redecorating, school districts and property tax or drone strikes and rare-earth minerals?