Lazy Suzie: la perspective curieuse
Suzanne Doppelt in conversation with Avital Ronell
Tuesday, November 11th, 7:00 p.m.
Co-sponsored by the Department of German and the Department of Comparative Literature
Writer, photographer; author of Quelque chose cloche; Le pré est vénéneux;Lazy Suzie; La plus grande aberration; Amusements de mécanique
in conversation with
Professor of German, Comparative Literature, English, NYU; author of Loser Sons: Politics and Authority; The Uber Reader; The Test Drive
Lazy Suzie furthers the project, developed in Suzanne Doppelt’s previous three books, of reframing and thus reinterpreting the received knowledge of scientific inquiry. Constructed around the principle of multiple perspectives,Lazy Suzie implicitly questions what distinguishes the scientific from other forms of inquiry through her textual and photographic engagement with the superstitious to the supernatural to the simply fraudulent. Turbulent, dizzying, even violent, Doppelt’s prismatic, off-kilter vision—reflected in her syntax, phraseology, and imagery—creates a dynamic of conviction and doubt, with the problematics of perception at the center.
“Lazy Suzie (beautifully translated by Cole Swensen) celebrates the eye, that “super-rotary lazy susan,” as well as optical devices from camera obscura to the telescope. It celebrates seeing as active rather than just receptive as it gathers in the thousand things of earth and cosmos. Moreover, sight changes matter, probes below the surface. It “presumes a slight fissure,” and “starting to paint [or photograph] means piercing a hole” through which to watch. Fittingly, Doppelt’s text is punctuated—punctured?—by her paired photographs. Some are of words, switching roles with this text about seeing. None are illustrative, all, like the text, intriguing and beautiful.”