Re: a tangent taken from Steve's quotes

Steve Krause (krause@MIND.NET)
Sun, 20 Oct 1996 09:20:26 -0700

Beth writes in response to the hooks' quote I posted before.

>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.

What hooks is talking about is that a lot of the folks who see pomo as an
alienating experience (I'm thinking of Jameson in particular here) are
fairly privledged white guys who (in the modernistic paradigm) were
essentially at the "center" of meaning-making, which is of course not where
black folks were/are. In short, I think what hooks is talking about here
is that the alienation that (white/male/privledged) pomo theorists have
been feeling has essentially been part of the black experience for a long,
long time.
>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.

Well, it's been a while since I've read this article, but from hooks pov, I
think she's suggesting this "positive, ethical" action and is suggesting
that pomo represents opportunity for those who were _not_ previously
privledged under the modernistic paradigm.

Steve Krause * Department of English * Southern Oregon State College
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