New Books

Several new books have arrived in the mail this week.

First of all, there are two great books, by friends of mine, that I read in manuscript, and for which I provided a blurb. The first is Sonic Warfare: Sound, Affect, and the Ecology of Fear, by Steve Goodman (aka the DJ and producer kode9), and coming out shortly from MIT Press (as part of the same series as my book on Whitehead):

In the beginning, there was rhythm. In Sonic Warfare, Steve Goodman surveys the soundscape, or “vibrational nexus,” in the midst of which we live today, tracking it in its various guises, from Jamaican dub soundsystems to US military infrasound crowd-control devices, from Muzak as mind-numbing sonic architecture to grime and dubstep as enhancers of postapocalyptic dread, and from  the cosmic vibrations left behind by the Big Bang to the latest viral sound contagions.

The second is Capitalist Realism, by Mark Fisher (aka k-punk), which is available now from Zero Books:

What happened to our future? Mark Fisher is a master cultural diagnostician, and in Capitalist Realism he surveys the symptoms of our current cultural malaise. We live in a world in which we have been told, again and again, that There Is No Alternative. The harsh demands of the ‘just-in-time’ marketplace have drained us of all hope and all belief. Living in an endless Eternal Now, we no longer seem able to imagine a future that might be different from the present. This book offers a brilliant analysis of the pervasive cynicism in which we seem to be mired, and even holds out the prospect of an antidote.

Zero Books has also just published two more worthwhile volumes. One is the brilliant One-Dimensional Woman, by Nina Power (aka infinite thought). The other, edited by Mark Fisher, is called The Resistible Demise of Michael Jackson; it’s a collection of essays responding to Jackson’s death, and it includes an essay of mine (a smoothed-out version of something that initially appeared here in blog form), together with many smart essays, deeper than mine, by many people whose work I highly respect, including Joshua Clover, Mark Sinker, Geeta Dayal, Ian Penman, David Stubbs, Owen Hatherley, Dominc Fox, Reid Kane, and Alex Williams — to mention only people whom I have met before, or heard speak before, or whose work I have encountered in the blogosphere (I hope I haven’t missed anyone; there are lots of interesting articles in the volume by people I do not know at all).

I hope this doesn’t sound like in-group blog cronyism — the real point, I think, is that, in spite of everything, the blogosphere really has worked, for me and for many other people, as a stimulus to thought.

I also just received in the mail my copy of Les différents modes d’existence by Étienne Souriau — a book that has been out of print for years, and is now once more available thanks to the interest of Bruno Latour and Isabelle Stengers, who provide a lengthy joint introduction. (For now, this is only in French. I have been looking forward to this book ever since I read an earlier article on it by Latour, also only in French for now, but forthcoming in English translation in The Speculative Turn).

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