24/7 by Jonathan Crary ****

Reading dates: 20 Nov 2015 — 22 Jan 2016

24/7 was my choice for our Dialectical Materialism book group meeting. I love sleeping, and working for an international programme, I am very aware of the 24/7 culture of ‘all the time, without rest, without delay’. There are so many interesting aspects to Crary’s precise analysis: torture, social media as a form of control and not uprising, dreaming, waiting, neigbourliness. The book is poetic and critical, lucid and generous. Some things could have been looked at deeper or returned to (the torture aspects, perhaps, light) and I even forgive him his slightly misplaced attack on Freud and psychoanalysis because this books is so good and necessary. It is short, approachable and erudite without entering into unnnecessary complications or jargon. It is referenced without being academic, it is impeccably written, with flair and care for the reader. The idea of dreams as something shared, of sleeping as a political act of turning off is inspiring. I am off for a revolutionary and unproductive (for capitalism) siesta.