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In praise of a plain life

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posted on 2017-09-01, 00:00 authored by Antonia PontAntonia Pont
In praise of a plain life

History

Volume

35

Pagination

61-69

Location

Melbourne, Vic.

Start date

2017-01-01

Material type

essay

Language

eng

Research statement

In a contemporary moment where diagnoses of anxiety abound, working as a generalising trope without precision or clear methods of analysis, this essay responds to a background of mental health complications and the absence of the word ‘fear’ in relation not to personal, individualised situations, but rather a more global circumstance of precarity and disconnection, competitiveness and exploitation, often dubbed neoliberalisation (Springer 2016) This essay, relying on a certain conceptual invention of Alain Badiou, argues in the vicinity of this concept of anxiety, linking it rather to forms of imprecise thinking, which work in binary ultimatums: winner/loser, rich/poor etc. Using Badiou’s idea of Dialectic Materialism (2009: 4) where an exception exists outside of the dominant movements of language, one is able to think a ‘beyond’ of this philosophical and existential bind. The essay invents the notion of ‘plainness’ and a ‘plain life’ to sketch an atmosphere that would remove itself from the current dominant logic that enslaves even while it promises economic, image-based or wellness salvations. The essay was lauded internationally by unprompted scholars/authors. One response read: “[Pont’s essay] had such a wonderfully reparative and galvanising effect on me. [...] I really think ‘In Praise of a Plain Life’ ought to be broadcast, every week, worldwide, from now until Armageddon.” It also generated two radio interviews: with 3RRR and with 3CR. Badiou, A 2009 Logics of Worlds, NY & London: Continuum Springer, S 2016 The Discourse of Neoliberalism, London: Roman and Littlefield

Publication classification

JO3 Original Creative Works – Textual Work

Scale

NTRO Minor

Copyright notice

[2017, TLB Society Inc.]

Extent

Creative Nonfiction Essay

Publisher

Brow Books

Place of publication

Melbourne