Re: unusual language [postmodernism]

Eric Crump (wleric@SHOWME.MISSOURI.EDU)
Wed, 9 Oct 1996 14:55:40 -0500

Yeah, Anthony. Inasmuch as there *are* primary texts any more, the Strip
is as good as they come.

I'm glad Cindy questioned the 'primary-secondary' ranking-relationship
between texts, because as that relationship is traditionally read,
'primary' is more important than 'secondary'. You don't really *know* a
subject (so goes common wisdom) unless you've read the primary authors,
the thinkers who thunk things up.

But that approach strips me of any authority to talk about pomo stuff at
all! I haven't read the masters: jameson, baudrillard, lacan, horkheimer,
foucault or any of those dudes. I mainly get my pomo idears from reading
rue, vitanza(in cyberspace, not print), baldwin, king, carbone, galin,
kemp, crump, gardner, fanderclai, bauman, keenan, romano, sands, krause,
nellen, haynes, et al.

These folks don't present pomo theory but enact a complex dialogic world
that *behaves post modernly* when looked at from my perspective.

And I like Anthony's suggestion that we look outside lit-theory. Not only
to cultural criticism and other aesthetics, but to science. Whatever
understanding I have of postmodernism is influenced considerably by
whatever understanding I have of chaos. Looks to me like pomo is to
humanists what chaos is to science. Both are ways to crack open old
boundaries, old assumptions, in order to create rhetorical space for
exploring ideas that were walled off, not by old schools of thought, but
by the *institutionalization* of prior schools. Newtonian and Einsteinian
science are not *re*placed by chaos but *dis*placed by it. The
displacement is a victory in the realm of institutional politics, not in
the realm of thought, where all those approaches co-exist and continue to

I may be babbling.

--Eric Crump