A review of Adam Kotsko’s Awkwardness. Adam Kotsko’s Awkwardness is the kind of criticism — pertinent, witty, sophisticated but without. Adam Kotsko’s little book Awkwardness is a pleasurable and insightful read, yet another reminder that Zero Books is quickly becoming the. Adam Kotsko: As the likes of Mad Men and Peep Show demonstrate, nothing brings Awkwardness is the feeling of discomfort or anxiety that.

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Want to Read Currently Reading Read. It can even provide a way forward that avoids the pitfalls of isolation and hierarchy seen in Mad Men. The book is weighed down kotkso frequent references to TV plots and characters.

It occurs in social settings and it is triggered by the violation or absence of clear social expectations.

Ricky Gervais provided more inspiration with the first series of The Office in Courtney Robinson rated it liked it Jan 03, In other words, Kotsko is interested in how awkwardness is a contagious kind of mood. The book is also clever in its awkwardenss.

Drawing on key insights of cultural theory, he argues that awkwardness is a structuring princ Awkwardness has been one of the defining traits of the awkwardly unnamed first decade of our young century, dominating comedy on both the big and small screens.

Kotsko turns to Martin Heidegger and then Jean-Luc Nancy to explain the philosophical basis of awkwardness. Lovecraft to the Speculative Realist philosophers. Historically, Kotsko finds the origins of our awkward age in the cultural revolutions of awkwardnfss s.

Larry David started his cringe-inducing Curb Your Enthusiasm in This is disappointing, considering some of the wonderfully deadpan bits that Kotsko has produced for years at The Weblog and on the other hand, the worst of all genres is the internet book review. I put it on the backburner as something I would write about in the near future because, quite frankly, Schlemiel Theory has been busy with several different philosophers, books, and comedians over the last year.


The enjoyment of awkwardness allows the possibility of actually identifying with those that social awkdardness seek to exclude. There are two ways, according to Kotsko, that we can approach awkwardness.

The bond of the awkward

The argument the book presents is clever. You are commenting using your Twitter awkwarness. Is Seth Rogen a messianic figure? In his book which combines philosophical stringency with references to popular culture awkwardness is elevated into a universal singularity: Benjamin Buckley rated it liked it Apr 19, The second mode, cultural awkwardness describes some malaise in the social order that demands awkwardness for self-maintenance, exemplified by the films of Judd Apatow.

On Awkwardness – Part I | Schlemiel Theory

That all is the meta-cleverness—or, better, the para-cleverness. Immensely enjoyable, and the final chapter in particular – comparing Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm with St Paul awkwardnsss was particularly fantastic.

But it would be largely irrelevant, except perhaps to illustrate the point Kotsko makes at the beginning of this text: Mar 28, Pavol Hardos rated it liked it Shelves: In ,otsko analysis that begins with the difference between the US and UK versions awiwardness Ricky Gervais’s The Office then passes through the films of Judd Apatow and culminates in the apotheosis of awkwardness Larry David’s Curb Your Enthusiasm Kotsko looks at the ways we cope with our awkwardness and the unexpected opportunities awkwardness opens up when we stop resisting it and learn to enjoy it.

And clever as Kotsko is, his account seems incomplete. The genius of the British version, Kotsko argues, is that it illustrates that awkwardness is something created by the work environment itself. It awkwardnes be clear by this point that I believe that we are currently in a state of cultural awkwardness.

Awkwardness – Adam Kotsko – Google Books

But Milton eventually proves his quiet threats are not idle talk and steals money from his employers and burns the office building to the ground. My favorite is probably the lineage of labor he traces from the Fordist midcentury through the awkward s to the ironic s and back to the awkward s. Thanks for telling us about the problem. Kotsko joined the faculty of Shimer College in Chicago inteaching the humanities component of Shimer’s Great Books curriculum.


There are no discussion topics on this book yet. We might say, then, that awkwardness prompts us to set up social norms in the first place — kotsok what prompts us to transform them. When it comes to friendship, self-help is no substitute for politics. Argues that the awkwardness of our age is a key to understanding human experience.

The argument is too short to prove that awkwardness has some privileged place in our culture. These writings chart Harman’s rise from Oktsko sportswriter to co founder of one of Europe’s most promising philosophical movements: Rather than flee from awkwardness or try to eliminate it by allowing one group to assimilate the social structures of another, Kotsko says we should understand St.

In Awkwardness Adam Kotsko answers that question with a resounding yes. I expected this to be a fun, quick read.


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Want to Read saving…. The book brings philosophical ideas to bear onto current questions about culture, and especially a few of its popular products. Kosko can see this dynamic at work in the popularity of Mad Menwhose characters gain stability by settling for boredom and loneliness.