Morgan Meis picks his top 10 books of the past 30 years

Morgan Meis in Image:

Truly, the older I get, the older are the books I want to read, and the fewer. I creep further and further back into history. I hide in the murk of lost time.

But enough about me. I did read a few books published in the last thirty years. Most of them bored me to tears. A few, however, were so odd or stupid or, here and there, brilliant that I had to take notice. I was not able to dismiss them, as I would probably have preferred to do. Below, in no particular order, are some of the books that have stuck in my head.

Jacques Rancière, Aisthesis: Scenes from the Aesthetic Regime of Art (2011)

This book is 272 pages in the English translation put out by Verso. The flap proclaims, “This incisive study provides a history of aesthetic modernity far removed from conventional understandings of modernism.” I notice that my bookmark is stuck at page eleven. You could say that I have no business discussing a book of almost three hundred pages when I read less than eleven pages. This is fair, though I should note that the preface is a few pages long and counted separately, in Roman numerals. Nevertheless, those first eleven pages (plus preface) were so torturous that I couldn’t go on. This is significant in itself since I have always been something of a literary masochist. Once I’ve committed to a book, I’m generally in for the long haul, regardless of the pain… nay, even perhaps partly because of the pain.

More here.