a tangent taken from Steve's quotes

Beth W. Baldwin (bobaldwi@HAMLET.UNCG.EDU)
Thu, 17 Oct 1996 13:26:38 -0400

On Thu, 17 Oct 1996, Steve Krause offered this quote (among others):

> bell hooks, "Postmodern Blackness;" great essay, and here's a nice passage,
> me thinks...
> "The overall impact of postmodernism is that many other groups now share
> with black folks a sense of deep alienation, despair, uncertainty, loss of
> sense of grounding even if it is not informed by shared circumstance" (514)

Steve, I am not getting into your discussion per se, but am taking a
tangent prompted by the quotes you offered.

What hooks says speaks to my negative responses to much postmodern theory.
While I find much of the theory sound (and I love to read Baudrillard
for content as well as entertainment), it does lead to that sense of
alienation and loss of grounding that hooks alludes to. Now, I'm
assuming, based upon very limited evidence, that hooks thinks this is a
good thing. I know that many proponents of postmodernism also think
that this shared sense of alienation and loss of grounding is a good
think. I don't think it's such a good thing -- not if such a condition is
what we aspire to.

If instead we are led to see things more critically, question our
assumptions and our grounding, then this is good. It's good as long as it
leads to positive, ethical action (no, I can't exactly say what I mean by
that at the moment) rather than to despair and alienation.


Beth Baldwin, Ph.D. *
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bobaldwi@hamlet.uncg.edu *