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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Some 3 Holy mother of god academia-speak rating: Cruel Optimism is a remarkable affective history of the present. In lieu of an abstract, here is a brief excerpt of the content: We can’t help but post about them, or enact our sense of grief and outrage, and drum up our political explanation for it. The introduction has promise. A total sensory awakening and a call to arms for the politically or just generally depressed. Instructions for requesting an electronic text on behalf of a student with disabilities are available here.

Requests for texts for us to discuss? By situating a study of aesthetic forms and generic conventions within the context of post-Cold War Europe and United States, Berlant continues her inquiry into the ways in which affective relations mediate citizenship and national public cultures.

Lauren Berlant

The system maintains itself while precluding real thought of anything else. Is optimism always already cruel? A relation of cruel optimism exists when something you desire is actually an obstacle to your flourishing. All of which costs money. Oct 19, Susan rated it it was amazing.


In One or Several Wolves? December 31, Cutting-Edge Intellectual Interviews. What Berlant does not make so explicit here, but are of concern to this journal, are the ways these expectations operate nerlant rhetorical norms.

Jan 08, Ty rated it really liked it. Jan 27, Lesliemae rated it did not like it. Refresh and try again. Moments of uncertainty can make us feel as though situations that evoke dreadful anxiety can be quelled by embracing optimism.

Offering bold new ways of conceiving the present, Lauren Berlant describes the cruel optimism that has prevailed since the s, as curel social-democratic promise of the postwar period in the Berlanf States and Europe has retracted.

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

I have optimidm catalogue of synopses I’ve written that summarize many of the works by theorists, philosophers, and literary critics I’ve read. We can’t help but check-in and react, terrified of being branded as apathetic or apolitical.

It de-dramatizes the epic accomplishment of nailing my Berlant reading experience and capturing it for my catalogue. Running a marathon, landscaping your yard, redecorating your kitchen: And this is, in a sense, what Berlant encourages us all to do, as readers, audiences, and political subjects.

Wished that the writing was less dense – having to read most sentences three times over makes for a ccruel bus-reading experience. What other relations to futurity are possible? Sep 02, Jordany rated it it was amazing Shelves: Stop, tarry in unaccepted forms – resist the temptation of normalcy even in your queerness a concept that Gabriel Winant rightly stretches out to encompass all of the working class itself in his insightful review of this loaded book of ideas – found here: The diagnosis of our times particularly the world of work via a series of close readings of books and films is incredibly astute and thought provoking.


Berlant explores the ways that contemporary desires for the “good life” are perverted byte berlamt of capitalism. Apr 05, Simone Roberts rated it really liked it. It’s not that my love died, but that it has burned to a kind of Derridan cinder from the bellows of constant affront, and stoking it back up seems an awful lot of work.

I realized, as I write these synopses and accumulate more and more “knowledge,” that my need to fill up my catalogue overshot the actual content value of my synopses. 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 life” 7, 9. Books by Lauren Berlant. 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.