Daily Archives: July 18, 2012

On the uses of theory

Yesterday was very hot, and last night quite windy. I had my window open and the fan on to try to cool my room down enough to sleep. But all the air moving unpredictably through my room kept pushing my bedroom door open, and each time it did, the noise would jolt me out of the almost-asleep state I was inevitably in at the exact moment the door came open.

The third time this happened, I rolled out of bed and started peering around the dark room looking for something to keep the door from coming open again. I’m staying with a friend, so I wasn’t all that familiar with the contents of the room, particularly not in my half-asleep state. No chair to bar the door with. If I’d been more awake, I would have used my suitcase, but I didn’t think of that. In my sleepy and now quite grumpy state of mind, all I could think of were books, but I’d only brought two with me, and neither was all that substantial.

Then I remembered that I’d checked Bourdieu’s Distinction out of the library the other day and stuck it on the dresser after I’d finished with it. It’s a nice hefty book with a sturdy library binding. I shut the door one last time and set the Bourdieu right up against it.

Sure enough, the door stayed shut all night. It’s the best thing Bourdieu’s ever done for me.