In The Hundreds Lauren Berlant and Kathleen Stewart speculate on writing, affect, politics, and attention to processes of world-making. The experiment of the one hundred word constraint—each piece is one hundred or multiples of one hundred words long—amplifies the resonance of things that are happening in atmospheres, rhythms of encounter, and scenes that shift the social and conceptual ground. What's an encounter with anything once it's seen as an incitement to composition? What's a concept or a theory if they're no longer seen as a truth effect, but a training in absorption, attention, and framing? The Hundreds includes four indexes in which Andrew Causey, Susan Lepselter, Fred Moten, and Stephen Muecke each respond with their own compositional, conceptual, and formal staging of the worlds of the book.
“Movements of attention to mostly ephemeral sights and happenings. Movements of wry, bemused, wistful, perplexed attention that awaken desire and affection for things happening about us and quicken an urge to know more. We should read but a page here and there at a time, and let this attentiveness extend into the rustle and whir of things about us. And how the freshness and spring of the language works to make us see what we look at!”
Alphonso Lingis, author of
Violence and Splendor
“Through seduction, coercion, intimate address, indifferent rambling, The Hundreds invites us to train with the writers, to entertain other ways of reading than through familiar academic protocols. We sense what it might be like to be unlike the writers. We experience what is in the air in these times. How easy it is to take a breath and inhale raw fear, paranoia. Or delight: as some unexpected affinity whacks us as we are about to turn the page. So we pause, think it over, and only then turn the page.”
Lesley Stern, author of
The Smoking Book
"In Berlant and Stewart’s hands, affect theory provides a way of understanding the sensations and resignations of the present, the normalized exhaustion that comes with life in the new economy. It is a way of framing uniquely modern questions."
The New Yorker