Bill Brown Other Things

ISBN 13: 9780226283029

Other Things

 
9780226283029: Other Things

From the pencil to the puppet to the drone-the humanities continue to ride a wave of interest in material culture and the world of things. How should we understand the force and figure of that wave as it shapes different disciplines? In Other Things, Bill Brown explores this question by considering an assortment of objects-from beach glass to cell phones, sneakers to skyscrapers-that have fascinated a range of writers and artists, including Virginia Woolf, Man Ray, Spike Lee, and Don DeLillo. Brown ranges across the literary, visual, and plastic arts to depict the curious lives of things. Beginning with Achilles's Shield, then tracking the object/thing distinction as it appears in the work of Martin Heidegger and Jacques Lacan, he ultimately focuses on the thingness disclosed by specific literary and artistic works. Combining history and literature, criticism and theory, Brown provides a new way of understanding the inanimate object world and the place of the human within it, encouraging us to think anew about what we mean by materiality itself.

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Review:

"In publishing there is a difference between making a splash and actually making waves. Brown's work has done both. He opens his lens this time to a wide array of aesthetic and cultural objects from indigenous ethnographic sculpture to the kitsch memorabilia of 9/11. Along the way, there are readings devoted to material objects in canonical literature and more popular contemporary writing. Holding all this together in the force field of Brown's lucid prose are his steadily surprising insights into 'things other' than meet the eye in such object matter. This new book, too, will be not only applauded but widely consulted."--Garrett Stewart, author of Bookwork: Medium to Object to Concept to Art

In publishing there is a difference between making a splash and actually making waves. Brown s work has done both. He opens his lens this time to a wide array of aesthetic and cultural objects from indigenous ethnographic sculpture to the kitsch memorabilia of 9/11. Along the way, there are readings devoted to material objects in canonical literature and more popular contemporary writing. Holding all this together in the force field of Brown s lucid prose are his steadily surprising insights into things other than meet the eye in such object matter. This new book, too, will be not only applauded but widely consulted. --Garrett Stewart, author of Bookwork: Medium to Object to Concept to Art"

In publishing, there is a difference between making a splash and actually making waves. Brown s work has done both. He opens his lens this time to a wide array of aesthetic and cultural objects from indigenous ethnographic sculpture to the kitsch memorabilia of 9/11. Along the way, there are readings devoted to material objects in canonical literature and more popular contemporary writing. Holding all this together in the force field of Brown s lucid prose are his steadily surprising insights into things other than meet the eye in such object matter. This new book, too, will be not only applauded but also widely consulted. --Garrett Stewart, author of Bookwork: Medium to Object to Concept to Art"

Audacious and profound, Brown rereads the great theorists and philosophers of modernism to create new categories redemptive reification, misuse value, the meta-object to explore a counter-history of the elusive other thing. The art and literature of American and European modernist culture, he brilliantly argues, yield up the incandescence of the other thing once it can be emancipated from the teleology of commodity and war. --Isobel Armstrong, Birkbeck, University of London"

In Brown s supple mind, things are alive. Their theoretical twists and turns and stubborn materiality are not opposites, but interwoven dynamics material objects in a field of thingness.For more than a decade, Brown has explored the various meanings and operations of things in, and as, literature and the visual arts. His grasp of the subject, control of interpretation, and willingness to take intellectual risks make this book a necessary read for anyone interested in the things that provoke our intellectual curiosity. --James Cuno, The J. Paul Getty Trust"

"In publishing, there is a difference between making a splash and actually making waves. Brown's work has done both. He opens his lens this time to a wide array of aesthetic and cultural objects from indigenous ethnographic sculpture to the kitsch memorabilia of 9/11. Along the way, there are readings devoted to material objects in canonical literature and more popular contemporary writing. Holding all this together in the force field of Brown's lucid prose are his steadily surprising insights into 'things other' than meet the eye in such object matter. This new book, too, will be not only applauded but also widely consulted."--Garrett Stewart, author of Bookwork: Medium to Object to Concept to Art

"In Brown's supple mind, things are alive. Their theoretical twists and turns and stubborn materiality are not opposites, but interwoven dynamics--material objects in a field of thingness. For more than a decade, Brown has explored the various meanings and operations of things in, and as, literature and the visual arts. His grasp of the subject, control of interpretation, and willingness to take intellectual risks make this book a necessary read for anyone interested in the things that provoke our intellectual curiosity."--James Cuno, The J. Paul Getty Trust

"Audacious and profound, Brown rereads the great theorists and philosophers of modernism to create new categories--redemptive reification, misuse value, the meta-object--to explore a counter-history of the elusive 'other thing.' The art and literature of American and European modernist culture, he brilliantly argues, yield up the incandescence of the other thing once it can be emancipated from the teleology of commodity and war."--Isobel Armstrong, Birkbeck, University of London

About the Author:

Bill Brown is the Karla Scherer Distinguished Service Professor in American Culture at the University of Chicago and a coeditor of Critical Inquiry. He is the author of several books, including A Sense of Things: The Object Matter of American Literature, also published by the University of Chicago Press.

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