Advertisement

Late Postmodernism and the Literary Field

  • Jeremy Green

Abstract

In recent years, a number of critics have announced the demise of postmodernism. The death notices issue from all points of the critical compass. For some on the left, postmodernism has been primarily an academic ideology that grew out of the despair of the post-1968 generation, a failure of political nerve, and an immense evasion of the continued depredations of late capitalism. News of postmodernism’s expiration can therefore be taken in good spirits, since urgent political and intellectual problems might now be addressed without a detour through the latest neo-Nietzschean mills flown in from France. Everything that such a theoretical trend ruled out of court—history, capital, the subject—can now be brought back to the table, and not before time. “Postmodernism is now history,” Alex Callinicos has declared with evident satisfaction.1

Keywords

Mass Culture Cultural Landscape Literary History Late Capitalism Cultural Authority 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Notes

  1. 1.
    Alex Callinicos, An Anti-Capitalist Manifesto ( Cambridge: Polity, 2003 ), p. 13.Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    See Stanley Fish, “Truth But No Consequences: Why Philosophy Doesn’t Matter,” Critical Inquiry 29 (Summer 2003): 389.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Hal Foster, “Whatever Happened to Postmodernism?” The Return of the Real: The Avant-Garde at the End of the Century (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1996), pp. 205–226; John Frow, Time and Commodity Culture, pp. 13–63.Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Fredric Jameson, A Singular Modernity: Essay on the Ontology of the Present ( London: Verso, 2002 ), p. 1.Google Scholar
  5. 6.
    Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, Or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism ( Durham, NC: Duke University Press, 1991 ), pp. 1–2.Google Scholar
  6. 7.
    See, for example, Andreas Huyssen, After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism ( Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 1986 ).Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    Charles Jencks, The Language of Post-Modern Architecture ( New York: Rizzoli, 1977 ), p. 9.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    Consider, for example, the work of Richard Kostelanetz, who has long been dedicated to the recovery of avant-garde writing from the modernist period: see The Avant-Garde Tradition in Literature (Buffalo, NY: Prometheus Books, 1982) and many other titles; or the interest of the poets associated with the journal L=A=N=G=U=A=G=E in Gertrude Stein: see, for example, Lyn Hejinian, “Two Stein Talks” (1986), The Language of Inquiry ( Berkeley: University of California Press, 2000 ), pp. 83–130.Google Scholar
  9. 10.
    Jean-François Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, trans. by Geoff Bennington and Brian Massumi ( Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984 ).Google Scholar
  10. 12.
    Peter Osborne, The Politics of Time: Modernity and Avant-Garde ( London: Verso, 1995 ), pp. 3–5.Google Scholar
  11. 15.
    Wendy Steiner, “Postmodern Fictions, 1970–1990,” The Cambridge History of American Literature, Vol. 7: Prose Writing, 1940–1990, ed. by Sacvan Bercovitch (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1999), pp. 425–538. Future references will be given in parentheses.Google Scholar
  12. 16.
    Wendy Steiner, Venus in Exile: The Rejection of Beauty in Twentieth-Century Art ( New York: Free Press, 2001 ), pp. 191–215.Google Scholar
  13. 17.
    Ihab Hassan, The Dismemberment of Orpheus: Toward a Postmodern Literature ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1971 );Google Scholar
  14. Gerald Graff, Literature Against Itself: Literary Ideas in Modern Society ( Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1979 );Google Scholar
  15. Philip Stevick, Alternative Pleasures: Postrealist Fiction and the Tradition ( Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1981 );Google Scholar
  16. Jerome Klinkowitz, Literary Disruptions: The Making of a Post-Contemporary American Fiction ( Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1975 ).Google Scholar
  17. 18.
    William H. Gass, Fiction and the Figures of Life (New York: Knopf, 1977 ) and The World Within the Word: Essays ( New York: Knopf, 1978 );Google Scholar
  18. Ishmael Reed, Shrovetide in Old New Orleans ( Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1978 );Google Scholar
  19. Ronald Sukenick, In Form: Digressions on the Act of Fiction (Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press, 1985);Google Scholar
  20. Susan Sontag, Against Interpretation, and Other Essays (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1966) and Styles of Radical Will (New York: Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1969 );Google Scholar
  21. John Barth, The Friday Book: Essays and Other Nonfiction ( New York: G.P. Putnam’s, 1984 ).Google Scholar
  22. 19.
    Fredric Jameson, “Postmodernism and Consumer Society,” The Anti-Aesthetic, ed. by Hal Foster (Port Townsend, WA: Bay Press, 1983), pp. 111–125; “Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism,” New Left Review 146 (1984): 52–92.Google Scholar
  23. For a discussion of the development and significance of Jameson’s work on the postmodern, see Perry Anderson, The Origins of Postmodernity ( London: Verso, 1998 ).Google Scholar
  24. Jean-François Lyotard, The Postmodern Condition: A Report on Knowledge, trans. by Geoff Bennington and Brian Masumi (Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1984), subsequent references will be given in parentheses.Google Scholar
  25. 22.
    Linda Hutcheon, A Poetics of Postmodernism: History, Theory, Fiction ( New York: Routledge, 1988 );Google Scholar
  26. Brian McHale, Postmodernist Fiction (New York: Methuen, 1987) and Constructing Postmodernism ( New York: Routledge, 1992 ).CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. 23.
    Tom LeClair, The Art of Excess: Mastery in Contemporary American Fiction ( Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1989 );Google Scholar
  28. Joseph Tabbi, Postmodern Sublime: Technology and American Writing from Mailer to Cyberpunk (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1995) and Cognitive Fictions ( Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2002 );Google Scholar
  29. Ursula Heise, Chronoschisms: Time, Narrative, and Postmodernism ( Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1997 );Google Scholar
  30. John Johnston, Information Multiplicity: American Fiction in an Age of Media Saturation ( Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press, 1998 );Google Scholar
  31. N. Katherine Hayles, Chaos Bound: Orderly Disorder in Contemporary Literature and Science (Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1990 ) and How We Became Posthuman: Virtual Bodies in Cybernetics, Literature, and Informatics ( Chicago: Chicago University Press, 1999 );Google Scholar
  32. Joseph Conte, Design and Debris: A Chaotics of Postmodern American Fiction ( Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press, 2002 ).Google Scholar
  33. 25.
    Roland Barthes, “The Death of the Author,” Image-Music-Text, trans. by Stephen Heath ( London: Fontana, 1977 ), pp. 142–148.Google Scholar
  34. 26.
    Michel Foucault, “What is an Author?” trans. by Josué V. Harari in Textual Strategies: Perspectives in Post-Structuralist Criticism ( Ithaca, NY: Cornell University Press, 1979 ), pp. 141–160.Google Scholar
  35. 27.
    Terry Eagleton, The Ideology ofthe Aesthetic ( Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1990 ), pp. 374–375.Google Scholar
  36. 28.
    See especially David Harvey, The Condition of Postmodernity (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989) and “Flexibility: Threat or Opportunity?” Socialist Review 21.1 (1991): 65–77;Google Scholar
  37. Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, Or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism and the essays in The Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on the Postmodern, 1983–1998 (London: Verso, 1998), particularly “Culture and Finance Capital” (pp. 136–161) and “The Brick and the Balloon: Architecture, Idealism and Land Speculation” (pp. 162–189);Google Scholar
  38. Manuel Castells, The Rise of the Network Society ( Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1996 );Google Scholar
  39. John Frow, Cultural Studies and Cultural Value ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995 );Google Scholar
  40. Arjun Appadurai, “Disjuncture and Difference in the Global Cultural Economy,” The Phantom Public Sphere, ed. by Bruce Robbins ( Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 1993 ), pp. 269–295.Google Scholar
  41. 29.
    For a useful discussion of these debates see Nick Dyer-Witheford, Cyber-Marx: Cycles and Circuits of Struggle in High-Technology Capitalism ( Urbana: University of Illinois Press, 1999 ).Google Scholar
  42. 31.
    Ernest Mandel, Late Capitalism, trans. by Joris De Bres (London: NLB, 1975), esp. pp. 523–589.Google Scholar
  43. 35.
    Michael Hardt and Antonio Negri, Empire ( Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2000 ), p. 284.Google Scholar
  44. 40.
    Charles Baudelaire, Selected Writings on Art and Artists ( Harmondsworth: Penguin, 1972 ), p. 403.Google Scholar
  45. 41.
    Herbert Schiller, Culture Inc.: The Corporate Takeover of Public Expression ( New York: Oxford University Press, 1989 ), pp. 37–38.Google Scholar
  46. 42.
    André Schiffrin, The Business of Books: How International Conglomerates Took Over Publishing and Changed the Way We Read ( London: Verso, 2000 ), p. 73.Google Scholar
  47. 43.
    Bill Readings, The University in Ruins ( Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1996 ).Google Scholar
  48. 45.
    John Frow, Cultural Studies and Cultural Value ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1995 ), p. 3.Google Scholar
  49. 46.
    See, e.g., Andrew Ross, No Respect: Intellectuals and Popular Culture ( New York: Routledge, 1989 ).Google Scholar
  50. 48.
    See Raymond Williams, Marxism and Literature ( Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1977 ), pp. 121–127.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Jeremy Green 2005

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jeremy Green

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations