Michael North is professor of English at the University of California, Los Angeles and the author of several books. He lives in Valley Village, CA.
Essential reading for anyone trying to work out what's contemporary about contemporary art. --Art Review Witty, sophisticated, and sharply written, Michael North's Novelty: A History of the New tackles the oxymorons lurking in the subtitle with gusto and a wide scope of learning, ranging from the classical Greeks to Modernist writers like Pound to the art criticism of the 1960s and 1970s. In exploring the multiple valences and models of the new, North accomplishes that most elusive of achievements: explaining how something can at once be new and old, recurrent and unexpected. Highly recommended not just for academics but for the general reader as well. --N. Katherine Hayles, author of How We Think In this ambitious and admirable book, Michael North invites us to look anew at the very idea of the new. Ranging across philosophy, science, and art, he teases out the recurring patterns that shape our sense of how newness comes into the world. Under the pressure of North's sharp gaze and remarkably lucid prose, novelty turns out to be more familiar and yet more surprising than we had known it to be. This is a major contribution to intellectual history. --Rita Felski, University of Virginia Novelty is an indispensable account of the extraordinary persistence and power of ideas about novelty and the new in our culture. It is very well researched, clearly written, and above all sustains a compelling narrative. Michael North surveys a wide field of intellectual and cultural history, and provides pithy, often witty, summaries of complex ideas. The result is a book that is bold in its claims, and sure to stimulate discussion. --Peter Middleton, University of Southampton