Unreal Nature

July 26, 2012

Suddenly There

Filed under: Uncategorized — unrealnature @ 7:14 am

This is from The Affect Theory Reader edited by Melissa Gregg and Gregory J. Seigworth (2010). Today’s essay is ‘Worlding Refrains’ by Kathleen Stewart:

… Everything depends on the feel of an atmosphere and the angle of arrival. Anything can feel like something you’re in, fully or partially, comfortably or aspirationally, for good or not for long. A condition, a pacing, a scene of absorption, a dream, a being abandoned by the world, a serial immersion in some little world you never knew was there until you got cancer, a dog, a child, a hankering … and then the next thing — another little world is suddenly there and possible. Everything depends on the dense entanglements of affect, attention, the senses and matter.

All the world is a bloom space now. A promissory note. An allure and a threat that shows up in ordinary sensibilities of not knowing what compels, not being able to sit still, being exhausted, being left behind or being ahead of the curve, being in history, being in a predicament, being ready for something — anything — to happen, or orienting yourself to the sole goal of making sure that nothing (more) will  happen. A bloom space can whisper from a half-lived sensibility that nevertheless marks whether or not you’re in it. It demands collective attunement and a more adequate description of how things make sense, fall apart, become something else, and leave their marks, scoring refrains on bodies of all kinds — atmospheres, landscapes, expectations, institutions, states of acclimation or endurance or pleasure or being struck or moving on. Affect matters in a world that is always promising and threatening to amount to something. Fractally complex, there is not telling what will come of it or where it will take persons attuned.

“Bloom space” is the repeated refrain of this essay — and yet Stewart never mentions Leopold or Molly.

My most recent previous post from this collection is here.

-Julie

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