Oscillate Wildly, by Hitchcock, Peter
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- ISBN: 9780816631506 | 0816631506
- Cover: Paperback
- Copyright: 11/1/1998
What keeps materialism moving? At a moment of crisis in materialism, in the wake of materialist practice once known as socialist revolution, this bold and innovative book presents oscillation as a metaphor for understanding materialism anew. Mindful of the dangers for materialism, Peter Hitchcock nevertheless shows how oscillation is part of the conceptual framework of materialist inquiry from Marx to the present. A reply to the call to rethink the material constraints on materialism itself, this book uses oscillation to refer simultaneously to movement within and between bodies of theory, within theories of the body, and within and between institutional spaces in which such theory is taken up. Hitchcock argues that oscillation augurs a politics that both shares the legacy of historical materialism and recognizes the critical edge of cultural materialism in its approach to the social practices of everyday life. In a series of ingenious readings, he rethinks the problem of ideology for Marx and his interpreters (Etienne Balibar in particular); provides a materialist intervention on the status of the body for theory; proposes an analysis of theories of space and the space of theory in the era of "cartographic anxiety"; sees the ghosts of materialism oscillating a good deal more wildly than Derrida would have it; offers a daring approach to shoes and fetishism within transnational capitalism; and concludes with a novel lesson on what the theremin, an electronic musical instrument based on oscillators, might teach us about the importance of sense perception for materialist thought. As both a descriptive device for the state of materialism and a critical tool within a polemic about whatmaterialism can do at this juncture, oscillation provides a brilliant key to materialist critique.