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.

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My grandmother told me, in a letter that later helped release her from permanent com Will soon review this for Common Knowledge. In effect, the realization of the good life feels further and further belrant of reach, necessitating ways of making do moment to moment.

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

I developed a cruel optimistic relation with the book itself and with my process 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 your own cruel optimistic relations.

Lauren Berlant is George M. As always with Berlant, read the first and last chapter for the revelations, and wade into the middle sections depending on how invested you are in seeing her test out these ideas. Some 3 Holy mother of god academia-speak rating: Sign-in or register now to continue.

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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.

But we are fooling ourselves by thinking there crufl any benefit to pretending things will simply get better.

There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Dreams are seen as easy optimism, while failures seem complex. You become like a small animal that, when picked up, never stops moving its legs” This, at least, is one important development in the way Western populations envision war, even if it does not always predominate in the thinking of our political leaders. Join us as we traverse this notably title-colon-less text in queer theory and cultural studies among other fields.


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?

Sometimes the wording is weirdly obscuring of Berlant’s actual points shades of Judith Butler but overall this is a great book. While detailing the cruelty of living in between spaces that are socially recognizable, striving to attain social recognition and a sovereign self, the negative space of the book, what is not quite said directly seems to be: The public does not realize that this statement is not an established scientific principle but an ethical preference.

Lauren Berlant

Berlant’s Cruel Optimism In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: Belant value is not identical to the price of things, but marks a determination of what cruek a thing can get exchanged for …[M]oney cannot make you feel like you belong if you are not already privileged to feel that way…. Apr 15, Sean Donnelly rated it really liked it Shelves: Tell you what though: Further, my attachment to my catalogue made me anxious about confronting the fact that my synopses might all be useless.

The introduction outlines the three major conceptual aims and contributions of the book, which include the emerging opfimism historical present, [End Page ] reorienting theories of This reading I was completely gripped. All attachment is optimistic.

Berlant explores the ways that contemporary desires for the “good life” are perverted byte strictures of capitalism.

Academics Speak: Theory Review: Berlant’s Cruel Optimism ()

Opttimism must obtain permission directly from the owner of the image. Thus is the challenge of Cruel Optimism: We lock horns with the other side, as they parrot back at us their own drummed up political explanation. Oct 30, Tyler Monsein rated it it was amazing. 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.


Tuesday, July 10, Theory Review: Your Friend’s First Name: It goes on like this for a bberlant until we run out of memes, and we’re about to concede some empathy with the other side and admit it’s all more complicated curel human than this, but before we can more shots Every day we’re onto a new crisis brought about by mass shootings. 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 by kptimism writin 2.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. Book titles OR Journal titles. See “crisis ordinariness” under key terms. In Cruel Optimism Lauren Berlant reveals that despite deteriorating 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.

Will soon review this for Common Knowledge. 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. December 31, Cutting-Edge Intellectual Interviews.

Even Adorno, the great belittler of popular pleasures, can be aghast at the ease with which intellectuals shit on people who hold to a dream. And its primacy in culture colors everything: Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: View additional images and download publicity materials. Posted by A Nerdy New Yorker at 6: Cancel reply Enter your comment here Achieving conventionality, as we will see, is not the same as achieving security.

My only reservation is the last chapter on contemporary art isn’t as nuanced as the others. Dec 08, ralowe rated it it was amazing Shelves: