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The Meaning of It All (Between Apocalypse and the Banal)

  • John Jervis
Chapter

Abstract

Our culture of sensation, drawn to an interest in extremes and hyperbole, reveals the outlines of melodrama, with its battles of good and evil; and Kant’s theory can illuminate the remorseless logic of this dichotomy. The drive to reflexive modernization itself, with consequences emerging as risk, also contributes powerfully to the panics from which melodrama draws its energy. Against a background of the apparent triviality of everyday modern life, this is in tension with another strand, the increased prevalence of simulation, the world as reproduction, artifice, implying the relativity of absolutes, a tendency often referred to as ‘postmodern’. Hence we find a contrast between evil as an intensification of reality or evil as empty, trivializing allegory. Neither can be said to exhaust the possibilities inherent in the modern orientation, its potential for opening up experiences of otherness …

Keywords

Melodrama Evil Kant Baudrillard Benjamin Postmodern 

Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of KentCanterburyUK

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