P       RNCU   REPO   ODER       E            P O S T M O D E R N
P  TMOD RNCU  U EP S  ODER  ULTU E               C U L T U R E
P  TMODERNCU  UREPOS  ODER  ULTU E          an electronic journal
P  TMODERNCU  UREPOS  ODER       E           of interdisciplinary
Volume 4, Number 2 (January, 1994)                ISSN: 1053-1920

Editors:                           Eyal Amiran
                                   John Unsworth, issue editor

Review Editor:                     Jim English

Managing Editor:                   Jonathan Beasley

Editorial Assistants:              Chris Barrett
                                   Jason Haynes
                                   Amy Sexton

List Manager:                      Chris Barrett

MOO Administration:                Chris Barrett
                                   Lisa Brawley
                                   Paul Outka
                                   Ted Whalen

Editorial Board:         

     Kathy Acker                   Stuart Moulthrop
     Sharon Bassett                Larysa Mykyta
     Michael Berube                Phil Novak
     Marc Chenetier                Patrick O'Donnell
     Greg Dawes                    Elaine Orr
     R. Serge Denisoff             Marjorie Perloff
     Robert Detweiler              Fred Pfeil
     Henry Louis Gates, Jr.        David Porush
     Joe Gomez                     Mark Poster
     Robert Hodge                  Carl Raschke
     bell hooks                    Avital Ronell            
     Graham Hammill                Andrew Ross
     David Herman                  Jorge Ruffinelli              
     E. Ann Kaplan                 Susan Schultz
     Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett William Spanos
     Arthur Kroker                 Gary Lee Stonum
     Neil Larsen                   Tony Stewart
     Tan Lin                       Chris Straayer
     Jerome McGann                 Rei Terada
     Jim Morrison                  Paul Trembath         
                                   Greg Ulmer 


AUTHOR & TITLE                                              FN FT

Masthead, Contents, Abstracts,                       CONTENTS.194
     Instructions for retrieving files

Editor's Introduction                                  INTRO.194


Glen Scott Allen, "Raids on the Conscious:              ALLEN.194
     Pynchon's Legacy of Paranoia and the 
     Terrorism of Uncertainty in Don DeLillo's 
     _Ratner's Star_"

Peter Baker, "The Terrorist as Interpreter:             BAKER.194
     _Mao II_ in Postmodern Context"

Stephen Bernstein, "_Libra_ and the Historical      BERNSTEI.194

Bill Millard, "The Fable of the Ants:                 MILLARD.194
     Myopic Interactions in DeLillo's _Libra_"

-- Edited by Glen Scott Allen and Stephen Bernstein


Judith Goldman and Lisa Jarnot, Two Poems            GOLD-JAR.194

Tan Lin, "One or Two Ghosts for                          LIN.194
     One or Two Lines"                 

Virginia Hooper, "Hauntings," "Temples and            HOOPER.194
     Follies" and "A Reading"

John Yau, "Buffalo and Marshmallows"                     YAU.194

Albert Mobilio, "The Geographics: Step Five" and      MOBILIO.194
     "The Geographics: Step Six"

Michael Gizzi, "Ode To Woody Strode," "Removing         GIZZI.194
     The Obelisk," "Parental Guidance," and 
     "The Permanence of Whim to Providence" 

-- Edited by Tan Lin


Elisabeth Crocker, "'To He, I am For Evva True';     POP-CULT.194
     Krazy Kat's Indeterminate Gender" (Hypermedia)


Excerpts on Silber, Strauss, and Post-Democratic     PMC-TALK.194
     Politics in the Academy


Gayle Wald, "Anna Deveare Smith's Voices             REVIEW-1.194
      at Twilight."  Review of  The Mark Taper 
      Forum Production of "Twilight:  Los Angeles,
      1992," a work-in-progress that is part of 
      the "On the Road: A Search for American 
      Character" series conceived, written and 
      performed by Anna Deavere Smith.  Directed 
      by Emily Mann.  Set design by Robert Brill.  
      Costume design by Candice Donnelly.  Lighting 
      by Allen Lee Hughes.  Original music by Lucia 
Lynda Goldstein, "Queer Bodies of Knowledge:         REVIEW-2.194
     Constructing Lesbian and Gay Studies."
     Review of Abelove, Henry, Michele Anna 
     Barale, and David M. Halperin, eds.  
     _The Lesbian and Gay Studies Reader_.
     New York: Routledge, 1993, and Gever, Martha, 
     John Greyson, and Pratibha Parmar, eds.
     _Queer Looks: Perspectives on Lesbian 
     and Gay Film and Video_.  New York: 
     Routledge, 1993.

Linda Ray Pratt, "A Postmodern Foundation            REVIEW-3.194
     for Political Practice."  Review of
     McGowan, John.  _Postmodernism and 
     Its Critics_.  Ithaca: Cornell University 
     Press, 1991.

Lance Olsen, "Virtual Light."  Review of             REVIEW-4.194
     Gibson, William.  _Virtual Light_. New 
     York: Bantam, 1993.

Susan Schultz, "Exaggerated History."  Review        REVIEW-5.194
     of Susan Howe, _The Birth-Mark: Unsettling
     the Wilderness in American Literary
     History_.  Middletown, CT: Wesleyan
     University Press, 1993, and Susan Howe, 
     _The Nonconformist's Memorial_.  New York:
     New Directions, 1993.

Kevin Harley, "Grown-Ups and Fanboys."  Review       REVIEW-6.194
     of Sabin, Roger.  _Adult Comics: An 
     Introduction_.  London and New York: 
     Routledge, 1993.

M. Daphne Kutzer, "_Malice_: The New American        REVIEW-7.194
     Hero."  Review of _Malice_, Directed by 
     Harold Becker.  Screenplay by Aaron
     Sorking and Scott Frank.  Castlerock, 1993.

-- Review Editor: Jim English

Announcements and Advertisements               [WWW Version only]

                                                       (22 files)



Glen Scott Allen, "Raids on the Conscious: Pynchon's Legacy of
     Paranoia and the Terrorism of Uncertainty in Don Delillo's
     _Ratner's Star_."  

          ABSTRACT:  The frequent use of terrorists and
     terrorism in DeLillo's novels seems, at first glance, a
     direct legacy of the omnipresent paranoia in Pynchon's work,
     especially _Gravity's Rainbow_, where Pynchon forecasts the
     postmodern condition of the surveilled subject as one based
     on institutionalized "intrastate" terrorism.  However, 
     unlike Pynchon's alienation from historical institutions,
     DeLillo's portrayal of terrorism focuses on the desire,
     shaped and reinforced by the mass media, for a "role" in
     history as an agent/victim of conspiracies, the desire for
     an individual voice in the midst of a blizzard of competing,
     conflicting, and potentially meaningless signals.  Finally,
     while Pynchon seems to argue for dissolution as the only
     future for the increasingly terrified subject, DeLillo
     offers some support, however tenuous, for the development of
     an alternative postmodern consciousness, one more grounded
     in Descartes than Lyotard, and perhaps more romantic than
     postmodern.  --GSA

Peter Baker, "The Terrorist as Interpreter: _Mao II_ in
     Postmodern Context"

          ABSTRACT:  Through the issues it raises, the kind of
     writing style it employs, and coming as it does in a series
     of other novels by Don DeLillo, _Mao II_ demands to be
     treated seriously in the context of postmodern work and
     theory.  I want to develop a series of themes and
     meditations through a comparison of _Mao II_ with two other
     texts that are roughly contemporary, Thomas Pynchon's
     _Vineland_ and Neil Jordan's film, _The Crying Game_ (1992). 
     That is, rather than attempt to define "postmodernism," I
     will take as a given that all three of these works *are*
     postmodern and explore what this might mean.  The comparison
     of DeLillo to Pynchon has become rather widespread, but _Mao
     II_ specifically presents the character of a hyper-reclusive
     novelist, Bill Gray, who may interestingly be compared to
     the real-life figure of Pynchon.  The comparison with
     Jordan's film rests principally on the way _The Crying 
     Game_ stages an encounter between a "terrorist" and a 
     hostage that is not dissimilar from some of DeLillo's 
     meditations on this theme.  As novelist Bill Gray travels, 
     first to London, and finally to Lebanon, he seeks to engage 
     the relationship he has theorized between novel-writing and 
     "terrorism" through his own person.  Gray (and maybe DeLillo 
     as well) is fundamentally--and in Gray's case, at least, 
     fatally--mistaken in his view that equates the role of the 
     novelist with that of the "terrorist."  As Jordan's film 
     carries this theme out, it becomes clear that the
     "terrorist" occupies a role more like that of the

Stephen Bernstein, "_Libra_ and the Historical Sublime"

          ABSTRACT:  The terror so frequently noted in Don
     DeLillo's novels is  attributable to his manipulation of
     several different theories of the sublime.  This essay
     discusses his use of Kantian and Burkean sublimes in
     _Libra_, demonstrating that DeLillo's sublime is ultimately
     an expression of the motive force behind historical process.

     Though critics right and left have faulted DeLillo for the
     shadowiness of such a view, it might more clearly be seen as
     a decision not to representationally underestimate the
     multiplicity of desiring subjects acting to constitute the
     historical real.  --SB

Bill Millard, "The Fable of the Ants: Myopic Interactions in
     DeLillo's _Libra_"
          ABSTRACT: DeLillo's _Libra_ has attracted both
     admiration and vituperation not so much for its willingness
     to depict the killing of Kennedy as the result of
     conspiratorial actions as for its ability to reconfigure the
     idea of conspiracy without recourse to individualist notions
     of intentionality.  Actors in the political sphere as
     imagined by DeLillo need not know what they are doing, as in
     the conventional intentionalist image of conspiracy.  The
     relation of intentions to outcomes is tenuous, because
     imperfectly informed actors pursuing disparate, even
     conflicting agendas can yield a collective pattern of action
     that appears purposeful while conforming to no identifiable
     intention.  This essay uses mathematician Alfred
     Bruckstein's term "myopic interactions" (based on a study of
     ant behavior) as the master metaphor for the paradigm
     governing DeLillo's characters.  The public communicative
     act envisioned by the initiator of a plot to *come close* to
     killing Kennedy is changed, through the myopic interactions
     of all those involved (particularly Oswald, whose inability
     to integrate information resembles the socio-informational
     pathology of capitalist culture as a whole), into a real
     killing; a scholar's effort to bring the texts surrounding
     the incident to interpretive closure is equally futile,
     never becoming more than the simulacrum of an investigation
     into the simulacrum of a consciously directed plot. 
     Socially pervasive myopia serves the interests of power by
     robbing critical historical narratives of credibility, but
     an informational paradigm that moves beyond myopic private
     interpretation offers the possibility of credible resistance
     in the public sphere.  --WBM

COPYRIGHT: Unless otherwise noted, copyrights for the texts which
comprise this issue of Postmodern Culture are held by their
authors.  The compilation as a whole is Copyright (c) 1994 by
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