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Black and Blur


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Table of Contents

Preface vii
Acknowledgments xv
1. Not In Between 1
2. Interpolation and Interpellation 28
3. Magic of Objects 34
4. Sonata Quasi Una Fantasia 40
5. Taste Dissonance Flavor Escape (Preface to a Solo by Miles Davis) 66
6. The New International of Rhythmic Feel/ings 86
7. The Phonographic Mise-en Scene 118
8. Line Notes for Lick Piece 134
9. Rough Americana 147
10. Nothing, Everything 152
11. Nowhere, Everywhere 158
12. Nobody, Everybody 168
13. Remind 170
14. Amuse-Bouche 174
15. Collective Head 184
16. Cornered, Taken, Made to Leave 198
17. Enjoy All Monsters 206
18. Some Extrasubtitles for Wildness 212
19. To Feel, to Feel More, to Feel More Than 215
20. Irruptions and Incoherences for Jimmie Durham 219
21. Black and Blue on White. In and And Space 226
22. Blue Vespers 230
23. The Blur and Breathe Books 245
24. Entanglement and Virtuosity 270
25. Bobby Lee's Hands 280
Notes 285
Works Cited 317
Index 329

About the Author

Fred Moten is Professor of Performance Studies at New York University and the author of B Jenkins, also published by Duke University Press, In the Break: The Aesthetics of the Black Radical Tradition, and coauthor of The Undercommons: Fugitive Planning & Black Study.


"Simply put, Moten is offering up some of the most affecting, most useful, theoretical thinking that exists on the planet today.... Moten's work makes the activities of reading and thinking feel palpably fresh, weird, and vital." -- Maggie Nelson * 4Columns *
"Some readers will come here because of The Feel Trio, because of The Undercommons. Some because Moten is the activists' theorist, the contemporary art institution's darling, because of performance studies, jazz studies, literature. Some readers will come here to encounter a brain that is at once more erudite, generous, capacious, fierce, jokey and infuriating than most others on the planet right now. Everybody ought to arrive here to be schooled and troubled, elated and confused, invited and indicted by a sparklingly original vision for black study." -- Nabil Kashyap * Full Stop *
"It's this spirit of the collective effort of study and exchange and resonance, the effort to keep the channels open and keep listening, that has made Moten (or, maybe, 'Moten/s') such a celebrated thinker. At the end of sentences like these, you want to say something like Amen." -- Jess Row * Bookforum *
"Be ready to be wowed; be ready to be challenged; most of all, be ready for the long haul. It is, apparently, the first in a planned trilogy. Moten is tracking his own course, and it's fast-moving and spectacular." -- Patrick James Dunagan * Rain Taxi *
"At a time when both theory and criticism are frequently and convincingly attacked as exhausted forms, Moten's trilogy has reinvented both. . . . In its mixture of theoretical complexity and disarming directness, Moten's beautifully written trilogy offers the sheer pleasure of art." -- Lidija Haas * Vulture *
"2018 must go down for me as the year of Fred Moten's trilogy: Black and Blur, Stolen Life, and The Universal Machine. You could say they're essays about art, philosophy, blackness, and the refusal of social death, but I think of them more as a fractal universe forever inviting immersion and exploration, a living force now inhabiting my bookshelf." -- Maggie Nelson * Bookforum *
"My favorite book(s) of 2018 are the three volumes of Fred Moten's consent not to be a single being, individually titled Black and Blur, Stolen Life, and The Universal Machine. In this collection of essays stretching back fifteen years, Moten challenges the reader to imagine a radically interconnected aesthetic and political sphere that stretches from Glenn Gould to Fanon to Kant to Theaster Gates, sometimes in the space of a single sentence. This trilogy is one of the great intellectual adventures of our era." -- Jess Row * Bookforum *

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