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Reading the Way of Things: Towards a New Technology of Making Sense Paperback – August 26, 2016
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About the Author
Daniel Coffeen has a PhD in Rhetoric from UC Berkeley where he was a lecturer for many years, in addition to teaching graduate seminars in critical theory at the San Francisco Art Institute. He's a frequent contributor to philosophy podcasts and a prolific blogger.
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Top Customer Reviews
Now, I find it exceedingly hard to write a review of this book, precisely because how well Daniel Coffeen accomplished it. Page by page, Mr. Coffeen expertly elucidates a Deleuzian/McLuhan(ian?) view of reading. Reading words, reading books, reading film, reading that barista at the coffeeshop I want to date. Reading is not a sifting through words for one obscured meaning, but the very creation of meanings themselves. Coffeen's book is so wonderful because it multiplies meanings. Interpretations proliferate. So in that spirit, I could write three-dozen different reviews and still only scratch the surface of what the book has to offer. In fact I've started and subsequently aborted this review about that number of times, deeming my previous efforts unworthy or at least missing something important I wanted to convey.
In fact, Coffeen throws the act of reading into such a dizzying light that I can't rightly say when I even began reading the book. Was it when it slid from the envelope, announcing itself in its bold, lime-green cover? In once sense yes, as that marked the beginning of the physical reading-event. But in another sense, a different reading started when I first heard Coffeen on the Partially Examined Life podcast, six months prior. And a different sense of reading began when I picked up Anti-Oedipus on a lark in Morningside Heights, New York, 17 months ago. Reading is an event, an interplay between text and reader, where both are always already in motion, hooking up to one another and creating new relations. It is physical, but also invisible. And most importantly, it is creative.
Admittedly, I'm a hyper-enthusiastic, amateur Deleuze reader. Far removed from my undergrad's (analytic) philosophy department, and having few friends that are interested in his work, I've found this book immensely helpful as a companion in thinking Deleuze. In fact, if I had a friend that showed even the slightest, polite interest in Deleuze, I would shove this book in their hand before they could protest that they were just feigning interest to humor my obvious excitement about Deleuze's thought. It's an excellent book for the total novice and the Deleuze-freak alike.
I'll terminate the review here, but I hope this book finds its way in your hands. The world will be more interesting for it.
I've shared this book with my SO, who's just started it (I plan on updating this review with more input). During my reading, I often thought of friends and family who would appreciate its nuggets and wrote their names down for future gifts. The professions of the people I thought of vary quite a bit (from art historian to a trader) and I imagine this would be a valuable read for people who enjoy learning, creativity, curiosity, and other similar pursuits. I'd also recommend it to students and teachers, generally.
I look forward to re-reading this one.
The subtitle of Coffeen's book is no joke. You have your five senses; if you want to add *more* so that you can appreciate the stuff of life more robustly, you owe it to yourself to get this book. The book is short, easy to digest, and leaves the reader a) hungry for more of everything, and b) finally equipped with better utensils and tastes to appreciate all that this world has to offer. Every text, every sound, every image, every interaction...