6 December 2017 | Workshop and lecture with Benjamin Noys, University of Chichester


Modernity was born under the sign of happiness in the claims to common happiness visible in the French and American Revolutions. This dimension of common happiness appears to have receded or been wrecked by the violent path of contemporary history. Here I attempt to rehabilitate the possibility of common happiness through the exploration of the work of Roland Barthes and of the contemporary poet and novelist Ben Lerner. In particular, we can reconstruct from their writing the possibility of neurosis as the means to access the problem of common happiness. While neurosis appears the classical and even banal sign of the blockage of happiness, the very minor status of neurosis can also indicate the contours of a possible experience of common happiness.


Benjamin Noys is Professor of Critical Theory at the University of Chichester. He is the author of Georges Bataille: A Critical Introduction (2000), The Culture of Death (2005), The Persistence of the Negative: A Critique of Contemporary Theory (2010), Malign Velocities: Accelerationism & Capitalism (2014), and editor of Communization and Its Discontents (2011).

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