Object Lessons is a series of short, beautifully designed books about the hidden lives of ordinary things.
It's happening all the time, all around us. We cover it up. We ignore it. Rust takes on the many meanings of this oxidized substance, showing how technology bleeds into biology and ecology. Jean-Michel Rabate' combines art, science, and autobiography to share his fascination with peeling paints and rusty metal sheets. Rust, he
concludes, is a place where things living, built, and remembered commingle.
Object Lessons is published in partnership with an essay series in The Atlantic.
A far reaching and weird delve into the world of rust, ranging from investigations of the rust belts in China and the US to the use of rust by artists and architects to strange ruminations on the connections between rust and blood.
This is a witty, delightfully eclectic fantasy and fugue on the theme of rust, which, it turns out, is a perfect metaphor for an aesthetics of metamorphosis in and after modernism. Rust has the ruddy glow of active thinking in the process of self-transformation. Rust not only doesn't sleep, it never stops giving off sparks. * Charles Bernstein, Donald T. Regan Professor of English and Comparative Literature, University of Pennsylvania, USA * Through his elegant alchemical associations, Rabate spins Rust to gold. * Vanessa Place, artist and criminal defense attorney *
Jean-Michel Rabate is Professor of English and Comparative Literature at the University of Pennsylvania, USA, senior curator of Slought Foundation, one of the editors of the Journal of Modern Literature, and a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. He has authored or edited forty books and collections on modernism, psychoanalysis, philosophy and aesthetics.
1. How to Live with Global Rust
2. Hegel and Ruskin, from the Inorganic to the Organic
3. Interlude: Blood-work
4. Rats and Jackals, Kafka after von Hofmannsthal
5. Aesthetics of Rust
Conclusion: Fougeres to Marseilles: Green Rust or Edible Rouille?