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Malicious Objects, Anger Management, and the Question of Modern Literature
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Malicious Objects, Anger Management, and the Question of Modern Literature

Jörg Kreienbrock

Abstract

Why do humans get angry with objects? Why is it that a malfunctioning computer, a broken tool, or a fallen glass causes an outbreak of fury? How is it possible to speak of an inanimate object's recalcitrance, obstinacy, or even malice? When things assume a will of their own and seem to act out against human desires and wishes rather than disappear into automatic, unconscious functionality, the breakdown is experienced not as something neutral but affectively—as rage or as outbursts of laughter. Such emotions are always psychosocial: public, rhetorically performed, and therefore irreducible to ... More

Keywords: anger, objects, rage, functionality, psychosocial emotions, household items, Laurence Sterne, Jean Paul, Friedrich Theodor Vischer, Heimito von Doderer

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2012 Print ISBN-13: 9780823245284
Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: May 2013 DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823245284.001.0001

Authors

Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Jörg Kreienbrock, author
Northwestern University