Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Five miserable books

Or five books about misery, as chosen and discussed by Renata Salecl, "Slovenian philosophy professor." That sounds like some serious misery credentialing right there.
I wanted to go against the presumption that happiness is the theme of today’s life. This ideology of happiness has actually produced more unhappiness than needed, since we’ve constantly been measuring our lives with regard to success, or self-fulfilment, or enjoyment. From a psychoanalytic point of view it’s been known for a long time that total satisfaction is completely impossible to attain.

The books I chose describe the most prevalent forms of unhappiness linked to the expectations that we have in today’s post-industrial capitalism. Those expectations are: long life, beautiful body, a sexually satisfied life, creatively satisfied life, an ideal of self-making. The idea is that we have the power to create this ideal life – and exactly these books reverse this presumption.
Via Bookslut.

... Hadn't realized she was once married to Slavoj Žižek. Misery indeed!

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