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The Way Things GoAn Essay on the Matter of Second Modernism$
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Aaron Jaffe

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780816692019

Published to Minnesota Scholarship Online: August 2015

DOI: 10.5749/minnesota/9780816692019.001.0001

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Nothing Beside Remains

Nothing Beside Remains

(p.127) 0 Nothing Beside Remains
The Way Things Go

Aaron Jaffe

University of Minnesota Press

When a thing gets talked about, it tends to get framed in one of three kinds of deceptive life stories: first, the thing lives insofar as it is subject to human attention; second, it lives an all-too-human life as a human proxy; and third, the thing assumes the form of the gadget, becoming the lead character in a fable of production. The book in general then strays from a narrative approach in its analysis of things, including essayism and poiesis; conceptual art and prop comedy; or thing-play and word-play. It is not interested in the story of stuff, arguing that stories about stuff are insufficient as critical practice for the ways things go. Instead, it stresses the critical and aesthetic necessity for the continued exposition of these stories’ side effects.

Keywords:   essayism, poiesis, conceptual art, prop comedy, thing-play, word-play

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