Cruel optimism names a relation of attachment to compromised conditions of possibility whose realization is discovered either to be impossible, sheer fantasy, or too possible, and toxic.

                      - Lauren Berlant, Cruel Optimism


The differences between entities (prose and poetry, man and woman, literature and theory, guilt and innocence) are shown to be based on a repression of differences within entities, ways in which an entity differs from itself. 

                      - Barbara Johnson, The Critical Difference