9780745644042

The Comfort of Things

by
  • ISBN13:

    9780745644042

  • ISBN10:

    074564404X

  • Edition: Reprint
  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2009-07-07
  • Publisher: Polity Pr
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Supplemental Materials

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  • The New copy of this book will include any supplemental materials advertised. Please check the title of the book to determine if it should include any access cards, study guides, lab manuals, CDs, etc.

Summary

The diversity of contemporary London is extraordinary, and begs to be better understood. Never before have so many people from such diverse backgrounds been free to mix and not to mix in close proximity to each other. But increasingly people's lives take place behind the closed doors of private houses. How can we gain an insight into what those lives are like today? Not television characters, not celebrities, but real people. How could one ever come to know perfect strangers? Danny Miller attempts to achieve this goal in this brilliant expos? of a street in modern London. He leads us behind closed doors to thirty people who live there, showing their intimate lives, their aspirations and frustrations, their tragedies and accomplishments. He places the focus upon the things that really matter to the people he meets, which quite often turn out to be material things, the house, the dog, the music, the Christmas decorations. He creates a gallery of portraits, some comic, some tragic, some cubist, some impressionist, some bleak and some exuberant. We find that a random street in modern London contains the most extraordinary stories. Mass murderers and saints, the most charmed Christmas since Fanny and Alexander and the story of how a CD collection helped someone overcome heroin. Through this sensitive reading of the ordinary lives of ordinary people, Miller uncovers the orders and forms through which people make sense of their lives today. He shows just how much is to be gained when we stop lamenting what we think we used to be, and instead concentrate on what we are becoming now. He reveals above all the sadness of lives and the comfort of things.

Author Biography

Daniel Miller is Professor of Material Culture at University College London.

Table of Contents

Acknowledgementsp. ix
Prologuep. 1
Emptyp. 8
Fullp. 18
A Porous Vesselp. 32
Starry Green Plastic Ducksp. 46
Learning Lovep. 57
The Aboriginal Laptopp. 67
Home and Homelandp. 73
Tattoop. 83
Hauntedp. 90
Talk to the Dogp. 100
Tales from the Publicansp. 108
Making a Livingp. 117
McDonald's Truly Happy Mealsp. 125
The Exhibitionistp. 133
Re-Birthp. 143
Strength of Characterp. 153
Heroinp. 162
Ship. 171
Brazil 2 England 2p. 179
A Thousand Places to See before You Diep. 186
Rosebudp. 193
The Orientalistp. 201
Sepiap. 207
An Unscripted Lifep. 217
Oh Sod It!p. 227
Josť and Josť's Wifep. 234
Wrestlingp. 241
The Carpenterp. 252
Things That Bright Up the Placep. 260
Home Truthsp. 274
Epilogue If This Is Modern Life - Then What Is That?p. 282
Appendix The Studyp. 298
Table of Contents provided by Ingram. All Rights Reserved.

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