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Our Aesthetic Categories - Zany, Cute, Interesting (Anglais) Relié – 23 octobre 2012

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--Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché.
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Ngai argues that three aesthetic categories usually considered of minor importance are crucial to understanding contemporary culture. The categories in question, the zany, the cute, and the interesting, "are best suited for grasping how aesthetic experience has been transformed by the hypercommodified, information-saturated, performance-driven conditions of late capitalism." In defense of this thesis, Ngai deploys a formidable grasp of the aesthetic theories of Schlegel, Nietzsche, Adorno, and Cavell, among many others. Her knowledge of more recent pop culture is equally wide ranging: readers will especially find illuminating her discussion of the zany Lucille Ball. Ngai aims to show how production, circulation, and consumption in contemporary capitalism are mirrored in the cultural world. She argues that the importance of the three marginal categories requires a revision of classical aesthetics. We need not abandon the beautiful and the sublime, but we need to give attention as well to what best enables us to understand today's culture, thus lessening the gap between aesthetic theory and practice...Highly recommended for an academic audience interested in cultural and aesthetic theory. --David Gordon Library Journal 20120901 --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

Présentation de l'éditeur

The zany, the cute, and the interesting saturate postmodern culture. They dominate the look of its art and commodities as well as our discourse about the ambivalent feelings these objects often inspire. In this radiant study, Sianne Ngai offers a theory of the aesthetic categories that most people use to process the hypercommodified, mass-mediated, performance-driven world of late capitalism, treating them with the same seriousness philosophers have reserved for analysis of the beautiful and the sublime. Ngai explores how each of these aesthetic categories expresses conflicting feelings that connect to the ways in which postmodern subjects work, exchange, and consume. As a style of performing that takes the form of affective labor, the zany is bound up with production and engages our playfulness and our sense of desperation. The interesting is tied to the circulation of discourse and inspires interest but also boredom. The cute's involvement with consumption brings out feelings of tenderness and aggression simultaneously. At the deepest level, Ngai argues, these equivocal categories are about our complex relationship to performing, information, and commodities. Through readings of Adorno, Schlegel, and Nietzsche alongside cultural artifacts ranging from Bob Perelman's poetry to Ed Ruscha's photography books to the situation comedy of Lucille Ball, Ngai shows how these everyday aesthetic categories also provide traction to classic problems in aesthetic theory. The zany, cute, and interesting are not postmodernity's only meaningful aesthetic categories, Ngai argues, but the ones best suited for grasping the radical transformation of aesthetic experience and discourse under its conditions. --Ce texte fait référence à l'édition Broché .

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5.0 étoiles sur 5 Reinterprets the present 10 juillet 2013
Par Caroline Durlacher - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié Achat vérifié
Ngai reinterprets the present through the lens of the zany, the cute, and the interesting. I feel like I've seen anew the TV, jokes, art, books, clothes, technology, etc. that I've been living with. Read this book.
18 internautes sur 20 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Are these our aesthetic categories? 2 avril 2013
Par sm - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
I was really looking forward to this book after reading Ngai's previous book, Ugly Feelings. On the whole, I found this an interesting book but not as fresh and acute as the previous one.

The first chapter of this book is a real tour de force, it's simply brilliant. However, I wasn't so convinced by the following three chapters on the cute, the interesting and the zany which Ngai argues are "our aesthetic categories." The attempt to link these categories to a kind of diagnosis of contemporary capitalism is the weakest and least convincing part of the book. It sort of works for the zany but the other two are much less convincing. In Ugly Feelings there was also a somewhat forced attempt to use the case studies to make some larger political point but this was largely confined to the introduction. This diagnostic approach to culture really isn't Ngai's strong suit, her close readings of a range of cultural objects and a very impressive range of cultural theory is where she excels.
11 internautes sur 14 ont trouvé ce commentaire utile 
5.0 étoiles sur 5 Essential, precise analysis of contemporary aesthetic experience 11 février 2014
Par Jonathan C. Gagas - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Relié
Together with Ugly Feelings (2005), this book demonstrates that Sianne Ngai is the most relevant, best read/viewed critic working in contemporary aesthetics. A feminist and Western Marxist, Ngai focuses on the downsides of the post-theological culture celebrated in Manhattan and the Left Bank in the 1960s and 1970s, primarily that it gave rise to contemporary consumerism, which weakens first-world people's aesthetic experience by promoting tepid forms of ambivalence and disavowal of social hierarchies. Zaniness blurs the line between work and play and invites contempt tinged by anxious pity rather than empathy with scatter-brained contingent workers; cuteness is weak care and magnanimity; interest is weak wonder alternating with near-boredom, like spending too much time on Facebook's news feed rather than reading a book, watching a film, listening to an album, having a conversation, or working on a project. After reading this book, I do not envy experimental artists working today if these aesthetic states are what they have to work with.

Everyone writing about and teaching avant-garde art should read Our Aesthetic Categories, especially since it relates trends in the arts to pop culture and thus implies helpful ways to teach experimental art by bridging it with the pop culture undergrads are more familiar with. YES, the prose is dense, but so is everyday aesthetic experience in our media-saturated culture, we realize if we slow down enough to think about it. This book plus Liah Greenfeld's Mind, Modernity, Madness: The Impact of Culture on Human Experience (2013), Brad S. Gregory's The Unintended Reformation: How a Religious Revolution Secularized Society (2012), Charles Taylor's A Secular Age (2007), and Nicholas Frankel's annotated, uncensored edition of Oscar Wilde's Picture of Dorian Gray (2011) shows Harvard University Press emerging as one of the top publishers of ambitious historical scholarship about modernity.
4.0 étoiles sur 5 Four Stars 25 octobre 2016
Par ¯\__(ツ)__/¯ - Publié sur Amazon.com
Format: Broché
Not a quick read, Ngai's thoughts are dense and historically framed. Very enjoyable.
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