We Never Sleep

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Ariadne Press, 2009 - Fiction - 211 pages
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In this masterfully constructed docu-novel Kathrin Röggla ventures into the dysfunctional, self-contained and self-destructive universe of a New Economy trade convention. Here, the horizon of human potential for feeling, experience, and identity is limited by the language and logic of business models. Through a hypnotically rhythmic sequencing of polyphonic dialogs, this explosive novel reveals how the models of efficiency and performance used to quantify business success turn destructive when used to measure human worth, evaluate human experience. Through the conversations of six representative figures, the IT supporter, the online editor, the senior associate, the key account manager, the partner and the intern, the reader is led deeper into the psychological desert of a labour force that has internalised values inimical to both its individual and collective survival. The pressure to perform is driven by the pace of the twenty-four hour work cycle and the frenzied competition motivated by the first signs of collapse and panic in the New Economy boom. Going days without sleep is a point of honour. There is no quitting time. The novel is both a darkly comedic and deeply disturbing view of the work world in the digital age.

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