Stewart, Kathleen. Ordinary Affects [part one]

full disclosure: this particular tome has rested on my bookshelf for more than a year since it was loaned to me by a mentor. i remember the moment it came to be in my hands, and the feeling that it may hold magic. i sensed that cracking it open could be a game-changer. and as i am discovering today, this is the book i have been waiting/searching for over this past year [and it has been within reach all along! oy!]. stewart drops so many gems that my notes will need to span at least two posts … at least.

Stewart, Kathleen. Ordinary Affects. Durham & London, Duke University Press, 2007.

Moments to remember:

  • Ordinary affects are the varied, surging capacities to affect and be affected that give everyday life the quality of a continual motion of relations, scenes, contingencies, and emergences … they … catch people up in something that feels like something (2).
  • They work not through “meanings” per se, but rather in the way that they pick up density and texture as they move through bodies, dreams, dramas, and social worldings of all kinds (3).
  • jumpy attunements (7).
  • Attention is distracted, pulled away from itself. But the constant pulling also makes it wakeful, “at attention.” Confused but attuned (10).
  • A “we” of sorts opens … charging the social with lines of potential (11).
  • “Tuned In” (12-13).
  • The Politics of the Ordinary (15-16).
  • Ordinary life … draws its charge from rhythms of flow and arrest. Still lifes punctuate its significance … still life [:] static state filled with vibratory motion, or resonance. A quivering in the stability or a trajectory (19).
  • … the synesthetic web of fabulated sights and tastes made scenes and objects resonate (21).
  • It’s the paying attention that matters – a kind of attention immersed in the forms of the ordinary but noticing things, too (27).
  • the ordinary affect … permeates politics of all kinds with the demand that some kind of intimate public of onlookers recognize something in a space of shared impact. If only for a minute. People might be touched by it, or hardened by its obnoxious demands … However it strikes us, its significance jumps (39).
  • Little worlds proliferate around everything and anything at all … grief of all kinds (42).

Über vibrant shimmers:

  • A fantasy tentacle floating in the stormy placidity of the nowhere of dully compelling force peppered by dreams of getting out or something (24).
  • As if strangers from the highway bring something with them (25).
  • Rogue intensities roam the streets of the ordinary … Everything left unframed by the stories of what makes a life pulses at the edges of things (44).

To revisit/newly consume:


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