I like many aspects of Dana Luciano’s Arranging Grief, but especially the sentence that concludes the introduction that argues to resist “the tendency to consider grief as always exceptional but instead positing its very ordinariness as a ground of political action” (24). I love this thought, because it implies that alternative temporalities have the tendency to be as abstract as the homogeneous, empty time they supposedly challenge. By contrast, it suggests that alternative temporalities are not salvation (another form of exception) but rather ordinary, part of the texture of modern life. Moreover, it argues that such ordinariness has an affective dimension–grief. I find this really helpful, especially in conjunction with Luciano’s argument that grief helps make visible not a particular attachment, but attachment as such. In other words, grief is not just about individual bodies/people, but about humans in relation to people, objects, feelings.
I also think that ordinariness is one of the things that makes politics difficult in a neoliberal age (see Berlant’s Cruel Optimism.) We continually misrecognize the relationship between the ordinary and the extraordinary, the rule and the exception, in part because we misrecognize what counts as politics and political action.