Reading the Way of Things

So, in collaboration with the fine publisher of Zero Books — the writer, Doug Lain — I am creating a series of video/podcasts that seek to explicate my book (available on Amazon but ask your local bookstore, please).  In this first part, I try to explain what I mean by a technology and, specifically, the technology of what I call exemplary reading — readings things as examples of other things.

That is, we tend to read things by not reading them but rather by plugging them into a preexisting category such as genre, ideology, history, or biography. Just think about museums: people look at the painting and then, immediately, read the writing on the wall. Rather than reckoning what's in front of them, they read the history and category of the painting in order to understand it. To read the world — to understand, enjoy, and make sense of things — we turn away from them.

In the following videos, I'll proffer an alternate mode of critique, what I call immanent reading — which, obviously, draws from Deleuze and Guattari's schizoanalysis but also from Merleau-Ponty's phenomenology. Immanent reading does not posit a thing in itself. On the contrary, immanent reading begins with the assumption of things are multiple, run through with other things. Immanent reading is not about discovering the truth of a thing but involves following, and (co)creating, the different ways a thing can go.

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