An attempt to feel and investigate the quality of time, with references to Jonathan Crary, Paul B. Preciado, Charles Baudelaire, and Walter Benjamin.
This book could have been called The Contemporary Condition of Sleeping and Reading in the Heart of (and in Spite of) the Logosphere and Various Media Streams, but frankly, I Can't Sleep sounds better, plus it's true. —Lionel Ruffel
The diaristic form of I Can't Sleep is an attempt to feel and investigate the quality of time, making reference to Jonathan Crary, Bernard Stiegler, Yves Citton, Paul B. Preciado, Charles Baudelaire, and above all Walter Benjamin. Written in a style that borrows not from classical forms of theory or prose, but operates in between fiction and nonfiction to investigate the very concept of the contemporary, I Can't Sleep uses a quite old but often renewed method—in this sense a very contemporary one,—consisting of starting from one's own personal situation.
Lionel Ruffel is a literary scholar, publisher, and author. Chair and Professor of Comparative Literature at University of Paris 8, he is the founding director of the creative writing program there. His recent projects include organizing (together with artist Kader Attia) “Theory Now” at La Colonie (Paris), “The Publishing Sphere” at the Haus der Kulturen der Welt (Berlin), and “Radio Brouhaha” at Centre Pompidou (Paris). He is the author of four monographs: Le Dénouement, Volodine post-exotique, Brouhaha: Worlds of the Contemporary, and Trompe-la-mort.