In conversation with Silvan Tomkins, William James, Sianne Ngai, and others, “Piqued: Compounded Interest and the Intersubjective Scene” further theorizes one of the most taken-for-granted of the classic affects: interest. This essay argues that the piquing of interest is essential for projection, attachment, or resentment, even, to follow. Interest not only compounds, or accumulates with itself, sometimes sharpening or transforming into those more intense affects that we tend to associate with driving forces. It also acts combinatorially, as an elemental ingredient of all affects. Because of interest’s fundamental role in initiating momentum, combining with other affects, switching registers—in transmissible, communal, or mediated forms—it is worth confronting interest’s ubiquity to better understand how it, once provoked, functions culturally. To better demonstrate interest as a foundational, compounding affect in coexperienced dynamics and their representations, the author unpacks scenes of intersubjectivity in the television series Killing Eve (bbc America, 2018–22).

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