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From Citizenship to Real Happiness

Multimedia Institute will be publishing books by Franco Moretti, Alain Badiou and Dubravka Ugrešić this November.

by: Vatroslav Miloš
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Franco Moretti is one of the most influential contemporary literary theoreticians. His work could be described as a "data turn" in literary theory, as work that ignores the canon’s dictate, as work that doesn’t use a magnifying glass, but satellite shots of bigger system units, as work that involves, for instance, the geographical contextualisation of literary genre, their intercontinental migrations, and explores the domination of certain cultural-historical literary concepts, like the "citizenship" or the "bourgeoisie". His studies Graphs, Maps, Trees and Distant Reading, which are actually collected essays, printed over the years in various publications, therefore make an excellent introduction to the quantitative study of literary history. 

His book The Bourgeois: Between History and Literature (Verso, 2015) will be published in the Multimedia Institute’s past:forward series, in cooperation with Booksa and Kulturpunkt, and it presents "probably the most significant new analysis of a culture/class that was dominant until recently, and the rise and fall of its literature." 

At the same time, Booksa and Multimedia Institute are together launching the Friends series, whose first two titles will be Alain Badiou's Metaphysics of Real Happiness and Dubravka Ugrešić's Karaoke Culture.

"Metaphysics of Real Happiness", states the publisher's note, "represents one of Alain Badiou’s most important short programmatic texts", in which the influential French philosopher dissects the phenomenon of happiness. "In short", writes Badiou, "every philosophy, even and above all if it is underpinned by complex scientific knowledge, innovative works of art, revolutionary politics, and intense loves, is a metaphysics of happiness, or else it is not worth an hour of effort". 

Dubravka Ugrešić’s essay Karaoke culture was originally part of her book The Attack on the Minibar ("Napad na minibar", Fabrika knjiga, 2010 / Fraktura, 2010), and will here be published as a separate volume, mainly to stress its importance, "both in terms of Dubravka Ugrešić’s observations so far, and in the context of analysing art and cultural production in conditions of digital technology". 

It was recently announced that Ugrešić is this year's winner of the Neustadt Prize, the prestigious American literary prize awarded by the World Literature Today magazine, whose previous winners include Gabriel García Márquez, Elizabeth Bishop, Czesław Miłosz, Octavio Paz, Max Frisch and Tomas Tranströmer. Her recent book, Europe in Sepia (Open Letter Books 2014.), was translated by David Williams

Translated from Croatian by Lana Pukanić.

Objavio/la vatroslav [at] 12.11.2015