The Novel as Affective Site: Uncertain Work as Impasse in Wait Until Spring, Bandini

Birke Dorothea Otto, Anke Strauß

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    Abstract

    In this paper we propose that reading and writing with novels contributes to the emerging field of researching affect in organization studies. Situating our argument in current research on work-related uncertainty, we take John Fante’s novel Wait Until Spring, Bandini as a ‘sensuous site’ of research to engage with the experience of feeling stuck – addressed as impasse, limbo or permanent temporariness – as a condition of contemporary work lives. While affect theoretical approaches often emphasize precognitive intensities and their transformative potential, the novel foregrounds how affective intensities stay and stick as they are entangled with powerful socio-political conventions, such as investments in the American Dream or the idea of stable employment. Such affective attachments take shape in antithetic dynamics of the not-so-static state of feeling stuck.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalOrganization Studies
    Volume40
    Issue number12
    Pages (from-to)1805-1822
    Number of pages18
    ISSN0170-8406
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2019

    Bibliographical note

    Published online: October 14, 2019

    Keywords

    • Affect
    • Berlant
    • Crisis ordinary
    • Impasse
    • Novel
    • Sensuous site
    • Uncertain work

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