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Cruel Optimism Paperback – October 27, 2011
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About the Author
Lauren Berlant is George M. Pullman Professor of English at the University of Chicago. She is the author of The Female Complaint: The Unfinished Business of Sentimentality in American Culture and The Queen of America Goes to Washington City: Essays on Sex and Citizenship, both also published by Duke University Press, as well as The Anatomy of National Fantasy: Hawthorne, Utopia, and Everyday Life. She the editor of the books Intimacy; Compassion: The Culture and Politics of an Emotion; and (with Lisa Duggan) Our Monica, Ourselves: The Clinton Affair and National Interest.
Top Customer Reviews
This book opened my eyes in a new way to the psychological problems inherent to attachment and even goal-setting. Buddhism has been discussing attachment for millennia, but I honestly think this is a new approach (not to mention excellent commentary of the distressing state of politics and economics in the new millennium). Be forewarned: this is one of the densest texts ever written; it is an immense challenge to read, but will garner the persistent reader two to five revelations per page. It's a book to be read over and over until it becomes a study guide for your exploration of the human psyche.
ONE THING not readily apparent before purchase, and truly not even until I was about twenty pages into the book: this book, by and large, is mostly a critique of very specific yet obscure works of art, literature, filmmaking, etc. I find that type of focus incredibly boring and beside the point; I am unfamiliar with the works discussed and have no intention of purchasing them all.
It's so much more interesting and helpful when Lauren is just riffing; she is such a genius that if she would just stop with all the analysis of other works and TALK we would all be a lot wiser. Thankfully she does just that for about 30% of the book.
In summary, though the focus is a bit scattered, the book is immensely profitable intellectually.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
The book is a succession of paragraphs based on academic name dropping without clear references being provided. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Lenard Denes
If you can understand that you exist in your own mind, and are constucted piecemeal in the mind's of others, this book will have you understanding the nature of randomness as it... Read morePublished on January 11, 2013 by S.S. Pierce
One of the best books I have ever read ... original subtle and witty !
It navigates between various traditions - and sometimes thats unsaid , for example there is the scent of... Read more