Introduction

  • Jeremy Green

Abstract

Late postmodernism? Isn’t such a coinage patently absurd? After all, postmodernism is by definition a term of belatedness: whatever else it signifies, the word refers primarily to the cultural moment or movement that comes after modernism, either succeeding or superseding the earlier formation. To add the modifier “late” suggests that postmodernism, which sprang out of modernism or wiped it from the map, has now entered a phase of decadence and decline, a state that foreshadows, in its turn, a new condition of belatedness. What comes after postmodernism? Post-postmodernism? At this point the preposterous and dizzying prospect of an infinite series opens up before the theorist, and all descriptions of the contemporary cultural moment can be considered as measures of a greater or lesser degree of belatedness. Nonetheless, the gesture is useful if it signals that we are no longer postmodern in quite the same way as when the concept was first set loose. Declarations of independence from modernism no longer seem bold or interesting, and we have surely grown entitled to our skepticism about the concept of postmodernism, after so many years, so much labor of definition and disavowal.

Keywords

Schizophrenia Marketing Stratification Expense Hunt 

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    See, e.g., Christopher Norris, What’s Wrong with Postmodernism: Critical Theory and the Ends of Philosophy ( Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1990 );Google Scholar
  2. Alex Callinicos, Against Postmodernism: A Marxist Critique ( New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1990 );Google Scholar
  3. Terry Eagleton, The Illusions of Postmodernism ( Oxford: Blackwell, 1996 ).Google Scholar
  4. 6.
    See, e.g., Daniel Bell, The Coming of Post-Industrial Society: A Venture in Social Forecasting ( New York: Basic, 1973 ).Google Scholar
  5. 8.
    My use of the term “literary field” derives from the work of the French sociologist Pierre Bourdieu, who writes, “The literary field (one may also speak of the artistic field, the philosophical field, etc.) is an independent social universe with its own laws of functioning, its specific relations of force, its dominants and dominated, and so forth. Put another way, to speak of ‘field’ is to recall that literary works are produced in a particular social universe endowed with particular institutions and obeying specific laws,” “Field of Power, Literary Field and Habitus,” in Pierre Bourdieu, The Field of Cultural Production: Essays on Art and Literature, ed. by Randal Johnson (New York: Columbia, 1993), p. 163.Google Scholar
  6. 9.
    See Geoffrey Green, Donald J. Greiner, and Larry McCaffery, eds., The Vineland Papers: Critical Takes on Pynchon’s Novel ( Normal, IL: Dalkey Archive, 1994 );Google Scholar
  7. Brooke Horvath and Irving Malin, eds., Pynchon and Mason & Dixon ( Newark: University of Delaware Press, 2000 );Google Scholar
  8. Charles Clerc, Mason & Dixon & Pynchon ( Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 2000 ).Google Scholar
  9. 13.
    Richard A. Lanham, The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology, and the Arts ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1993 ), pp. 195–223.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. 14.
    See Herbert Marcuse, “The Affirmative Character of Culture,” Negations: Essays in Critical Theory, trans. by Jeremy J. Shapiro ( Boston: Beacon Press, 1968 ), pp. 88–133.Google Scholar
  11. 15.
    The Structural Transformation of the Public Sphere: An Inquiry into a Category of Bourgeois Society, trans. by Thomas Burger and Frederick Lawrence (Cambrige: MIT Press, 1989). For critical assessments of Habermas’s theory, see Craig Calhoun, ed., Habermas and the Public Sphere (Cambridge: MIT Press, 1992).Google Scholar
  12. 17.
    For a celebrated account of the historical and philosophical genesis of this ideology of the subject, see C.B. Macpherson, The Political Theory of Possessive Individualism: Hobbes to Locke (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1962).Google Scholar
  13. 19.
    Carole Maso, “Rupture, Verge, and Precipice: Precipice, Verge, and Hurt Not,” Review of Contemporary Fiction 16 (Spring 1996): 54–75;Google Scholar
  14. Carole Maso, Break Every Rule: Essays on Language, Longing, and Moments of Desire ( Washington, DC: Counterpoint, 2000 ), pp. 161–191.Google Scholar
  15. 20.
    Evan Dara, The Lost Scrapbook (Normal, IL: FC2, 1995).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jeremy Green 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy Green

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations