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- DescriptionStuff, the hoard of mir objects which have shed their commodity glamor but which we refuse to recycle, flashes up in fiction, films and photographs as alluring, unruly reminder of how people and matter are intertwined. Stuff is modern materiality out of bounds that refuses to be contained by the western semiotic system. It declines its role as the eternal sidekick of the subject, and is thus the ideal basis for a counter-narrative of materiality in flux. Can such a narrative, developed by the new materialism, reinvigorate the classical materialist account of human alienation from commodities under capital? By shifting the discussion of materiality toward the aesthetic and the everyday, the book both embraces and challenges the project of new materialism. It argues that matter has a politics, and that its new plasticity offers a continued possibility of critique. Stuff Theory's five chapters illustrate the intermittent flashes of modern 'mir' materiality in twentieth-century modernity as fashion, memory object, clutter, home decor, and waste in a wide range of texts: Benjamin's essays, Virginia Woolf's and Elfriede Jelinek's fiction, Rem Koolhaas' criticism, 1920s German photography and the cinema of Tati, Bertolucci, and Mendes. To call the commodified, ebullient materiality the book tracks stuff, is to foreground its plastic and transformative power, its fluidity and its capacity to generate events. Stuff Theory interrogates the political value of stuff's instability. It investigates the potential of stuff to revitalize the oppositional power of the object. Stuff Theory traces a genealogy of materiality: flashpoints of one kind of mir matter in a succession of cultural moments. It asserts that in culture, stuff becomes a rallying point for a new critique of capital, which always works to reassign stuff to a subaltern position. Stuff is t merely unruly: it becomes the terrain on which a new relation between people and matter might be built.
- Author BiographyMaurizia Boscagli is Associate Professor of English, Comparative Literature, and Feminist Studies at the University of California, Santa Barbara, USA. She is co-director of COMMA, the Center on Modern Literature, Materialism, and Aesthetics. Her first book was Eye on the Flesh: Fashions of Masculinity in the Early Twentieth Century. She is the translator of Antonio Negri's key work Insurgencies. In 2012 she co-edited Joyce, Benjamin, and Magical Urbanism, published in the European Joyce Studies series.
- Author(s)Maurizia Boscagli
- PublisherContinuum Publishing Corporation
- Date of Publication22/05/2014
- SubjectCultural Studies
- Place of PublicationNew York
- Country of PublicationUnited States
- ImprintContinuum Publishing Corporation
- Content Noteillustrations
- Weight512 g
- Width140 mm
- Height216 mm
- Spine23 mm
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