Re: unusual language [postmodernism]

Anthony Rue (true@UCET.UFL.EDU)
Wed, 9 Oct 1996 23:22:51 -0400

[<blink>Warning!</blink>: Long quote by postmodern "authority figure"

On Wed, 9 Oct 1996, Eric Crump wrote:
> 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.

Yikes! and to think I get my idears about postmodernism from a
combination of Grant Morrison (hmmm, perhaps it
is time to run an altavista search on "Grant Morrison" +doom +"Steven
Shaviro") and growing up in Florida.

Still, I'll quote from Lyotard given the proper cue. If the Sex Pistols
can get up on stage and shake things up after 20 years (and after having
to practice to "unlearn" how well they now know how to play), why not give
Jean-Francois the stage for his three minutes of pomo death metal:

...I have read from the pen of an eminent historian that the avant-garde
writers and thinkers of the 1960s and 1970s introduced a reign of terror
into the use of language, and that the imposition of a common mode of
speech on intellectuals (that of historians) is necessary to reestablish
the conditions for fruitful debate. I have read a young Belgian
philosopher of language complaining that Contental thought, when faced
with the challenges of talking machines, left them to look after reality;
that it replaced the paradigm of referentiality with one of
adlinguisticity (speaking without speech, writing about writing,
intertextuality). He thinks it is time language recovered a firm anchoring
in the referent. I have read a talented theatrologist who says the tricks
and caprices of postmodernism count for little next to authority,
especially when a mood of anxiety encourages that authority to adopt a
politics of totalitarian vigilance...

[many words cut]

The postmodern would be that which in the modern invokes the
unrepresentable in presentation itself, that which refuses the consolation
of correct forms, refuses the consensus of taste permitting a common
experience of nostalgia for the impossible, and inquires into new
presentations--not to take pleasure in them, but to better produce the
feeling that there is something unrepresentable...

...We have paid dearly for our nostalgia for the all and the one, for a
reconciliation of the concept and the sensible, for a transparent and
communicable experience. Beneath the general demand for relaxation and
appeasement, we hear murmurings of the desire to reinstitute terror and
fulfill the phantasm of taking possession of reality. The answer is this:
war on totality. Let us attest to the unpresentable; let us activate the
differends and save the honor of the name.

FL, from Le Postmoderne explique aux enfants.