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 10, Number 3 (May, 2000)                   ISSN: 1053-1920

Editors:                            Lisa Brawley
                                    James F. English

Editors Emeritus:                   Eyal Amiran
                                    Stuart Moulthrop
                                    John Unsworth

Review Editor:                      Paula Geyh

Managing Editor:                    Bill Albertini 

Research Assistants:                Elizabeth Bridgham
                                    Brian Glavey
                                    Elizabeth Outka
                                    Johnnie Wilcox

Editorial Board:                                           

     Michael Berube 		     Larysa Mykyta 
     Nahum Chandler 		     Chimalum Nwankwo
     Heesok Chang 		     Patrick O'Donnell
     J. Yellowlees Douglas 	     Elaine Orr
     Johanna Drucker 		     Bob Perelman
     Diane Gromala 		     Marjorie Perloff
     Graham Hammill 		     Fred Pfeil
     David Herman 		     Peggy Phelan
     Terry Harpold 		     David Porush
     Marcia Ian                      Mark Poster
     Michael Joyce 		     Judith Roof
     E. Ann Kaplan 		     Susan Schultz
     Matt Kirschenbaum 		     William Spanos
     Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett   Katie Stewart
     Neil Larsen                     Allucquere Roseanne Stone	
     Tan Lin 			     Gary Lee Stonum
     Saree Makdisi 		     Rei Terada
     Brian Massumi		     Darren Tofts
     Jerome McGann 		     Paul Trembath
     Adrian Miles 		     Greg Ulmer
     Jim Morrison 

    Evans Chan, "Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema"
    James D. Faubion, "Hieros Gamos: Typology and the Fate of 
    Steven Helmling, "Failure and the Sublime: Fredric Jameson's 
    Writing in the '80s"
    Lawrence Johnson, "Tracing Calculation [Calque Calcul] 
    Between Nicholas Abraham and Jacques Derrida"
    Jim Rosenberg, "A Prosody of Space / Non-Linear Time"
    Genevieve Abravanel, "Disciplining Culture." A review of John Carlos 
    Rowe, ed., _"Culture" and the Problem of Disciplines_.  New York: 
    Columbia UP, 1998. 
    David Anshen, "Specters of the Real." A review of Michael Sprinker, 
    ed., _Ghostly Demarcations: A Symposium on Jacques Derrida's "Specters of 
    Marx"_. New York: Verso, 1999. 
    Brian Baker, "In the Post: or, the Work of Art in the Age of Digital 
    Simulation." A review of _Heaven_, an exhibition of postmodern art 
    curated by Dorit Le Vitte Harten. The Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf, Germany, 30 
    July 1999-17 October 1999, and the Tate Gallery to the North, Liverpool, 
    U.K., 9 December 1999-27 February 2000. 
    Timothy Gray, "Periodizing Postmodernism." A review of Patricia 
    Juliana Smith, ed., _The Queer Sixties_. New York: Routledge, 1999, and 
    Stephen Miller, _The Seventies Now:  Culture as Surveillance_. Durham: 
    Duke UP, 1999. 
    Kevin Marzahl, "Limited Affinities." A review of Rachel Blau DuPlessis 
    and Peter Quartermain, eds., _The Objectivist Nexus: Essays in Cultural 
    Poetics_. Tuscaloosa: U of Alabama P, 1999. 
    David Pagano, "The Openness of an Immanent Temporality." A review of 
    E.A. Grosz, _Becomings: Explorations of Time, Memory, and Futures_. 
    Ithaca: Cornell UP, 1999. 
                              Related Readings
     			 [WWW Version Only]
                              Bibliography of
                            and Critical Theory
     			 [WWW Version Only]
     			 [WWW Version Only]
                            Notes on Contributors
    Evans Chan, "Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema"
        o Abstract: "Postmodernism and Hong Kong Cinema" charts the
          postmodern condition as it pertains to Hong Kong and its
          film industry. It defines the post-coloniality of Hong Kong
          (and China) as being still trapped within the realm of
          Habermasean modernity--unfulfilled liberalization in, at
          least, formal political terms. At the confluence of East
          and West in the age of late capitalism, Hong Kong
          inevitably has its share of eclectic postmodern glitz.
          However, the postmodern pastiche aesthetics of Hong Kong
          films may be a reflection, firstly, of the city's
          longstanding status as the "Hollywood of the East," with
          its voracious borrowing from Hollywood hits and traditional
          genre (horror, kungfu) films; and, secondly, of colonial
          Hong Kong's gradual awakening to its post-war cosmopolitan
          status, which is permeated with a sense of distinct and
          separate identity from mainland China. The essay traces the
          formation of the contemporary Hong Kong identity to the
          late '60s when the Cultural Revolution echoed on the
          streets of the colony, planting a deep-seated fear of
          communism and creating the first major exodus. As
          postmodernism's sexuality agenda has opened its arms to,
          and bestowed respectability on, a series of Chinese films
          on gay subjects in the film festival circuit, the taste of
          Western urbanites for ethnic spectacle has contributed to
          Hong Kong cinema's underground popularity. The appeal of
          Hong Kong cinema has also been boosted by the drama of the
          colony's historic hand-over by Britain to China in July
          1997, which in itself epitomizes the visibility and
          invisibility of Hong Kong--a completely passive, mute
          subject of an event that puts the finishing touches to the
          saga of Euro-imperialism. The essay analyzes the
          Anglo-American media's ideologically-charged discourse on
          Hong Kong's decolonization and its representation in Wayne
          Wang's _The Chinese Box_; the meta-narrative of 1997
          angst--intensified by the Tiananmen Massacre of 1989--that
          runs through the corpus of Tsui Hark, Hong Kong's action
          film auteur par excellence; and Hong Kong cinema's
          postmodern nostalgia mode (Stephen Chiau, Wong Kar-wai,
          Stanley Kwan, etc.) that emerged in the late 80's. Also
          discussed are the causes of Hong Kong cinema's seemingly
          inevitable demise--absorption by Hollywood and the siege of
          piracy--and the subtle signs of post-colonial Hong Kong's
          erosion as a civil society ruled by law. Citing Habermas,
          Jameson, Eagleton, and others, the essay contemplates the
          possibilities and options of postmodern politics by way of
          the unique situation of Hong Kong and its cinema. Lastly,
          the author, who is one of the few independent filmmakers
          Hong Kong has produced and is today based jointly in New
          York and Hong Kong, reflects on the creative trajectory of
          his own work as informed by displacement, his ethnicity,
          and postmodernity.--ec
    James D. Faubion, "Hieros Gamos: Typology and the Fate of 
        o Abstract: Contemporary theories of identity-formation tend
          to vacillate between two equally unsatisfactory
          resolutions: determinism and decisionism. That they do so
          belies the shortcomings of the question from which they
          typically proceed: Do we, or do we not, choose to be who we
          are? Its shortcomings can be brought out more clearly by
          posing another, closely related question: Do we choose to
          love? The answer to the latter is plainly negative. Yet it
          is far from entailing pure passivity. It directs us instead
          to attend to the reflexive assessment and narrative 
          articulation of personal experience. It directs us further
          to attend to the inevitably interpersonal ethical
          pedagogies from which any definition of the self and its
          relations to others must derive its methods, its
          substantive themes, and its legitimacy. The story which Amo
          Paul Bishop Roden has gradually fashioned of her love for
          George Roden--the heir-apparent of the Branch Davidians, a
          small religious community established on a prairie compound
          called Mount Carmel near Waco, Texas--is a richly
          illustrative case in point. It offers us a double object
          lesson: one, in the Bible's enduring and complex service as
          a technology of self-creation and self-transformation;
          another, more disturbing, in contemporary processes of
          experiential and ethical colonization.--jdf
    Steven Helmling, "Failure and the Sublime: Fredric Jameson's 
    Writing in the '80s"
        o Abstract: In _The Political Unconscious_ (1981), Fredric
          Jameson prescribes a "vision" of "inevitable failure" for
          Marxist critique--for how can critique succeed when the
          revolutionary tradition itself is failing? In his 1984
          "Postmodernism" essay, however, Jameson protests the
          "winner loses logic" this prescription entails; he goes on
          to mobilize "the sublime" as a figure for several
          "postmodern" problematics. This essay considers Jameson's
          "sublime" as an implicit "response" to the "winner loses
          logic" Jameson had earlier boxed himself into. Both
          thematically, and as a "textual effect" of his writing
          practice, Jameson evokes a "sublime" bearing inflections
          from Burke and Kant through Hegel, Freud, and beyond, in
          such a way as to make "the sublime" both a figure for the
          predicaments of critique, and a "neutralization" of them.
          Hence the essay allowed more scope for the utopian
          thematics of theory than had been usual in Jameson--or than
          would be present in his later reconsiderations of
    Lawrence Johnson, "Tracing Calculation [Calque Calcul] 
    Between Nicholas Abraham and Jacques Derrida"
        o Abstract: This essay is broadly concerned with the role of
          death in recent philosophical-theoretical activity: both
          the concept of death and the deaths of philosophers
          themselves. Its specific focus is the way in which the
          death of Nicholas Abraham in 1975 has contributed to the
          subsequent uses of his theoretical approaches to mourning,
          incorporation, and loss. In particular, it considers
          Jacques Derrida's efforts toward gaining belated
          (posthumous) recognition for the work of his friend. Much
          of Derrida's work (certainly in the mid-1970s, and
          subsequently in varying degrees) represents an
          incorporation of the theory of incorporation.
          This incorporation is "traced" through three texts that are
          directly related, yet separated by the threshold of
          Abraham's passing. These texts are _Glas_ and the two
          interviews given in 1975 and published as "Between Brackets
          I" and "Ja, or the faux-bond II" in _Points_. The interviews
          reflect upon _Glas_ but also foreshadow Derrida's
          reminiscences of his deceased friend in his foreword to
          Abraham and Maria Torok's _Cryptonymie: Le Verbier de
          l'Homme aux Loups_ in 1976. By reading these texts as
          expressions of the crossing of a threshold, we find that
          _Glas_ itself, though written before Abraham's death, may be
          seen as having shaped Derrida's incorporation of
          incorporation (in advance, as it were) which in turn has
          impacted on the reception of Abraham's work. _Glas_'s pivotal
          role becomes clear when we consider some of the ways its
          "calculations" include fragments of a project that Abraham
          himself had always intended to keep hidden: his early
          _Glossary of Paradigmatics_, and its centrepiece, the entry
          "calque." --lj
    Jim Rosenberg, "A Prosody of Space / Non-Linear Time"
        o Abstract: Prosody is the charting of sound phenomena as
          they occur in a poem, normally yielding a linear time-plot
          of sound events. How should prosody work in non-linear
          poetry, e.g., hypertext? We begin with a recasting of the
          stereotype approach to metrics as a pattern-matching
          process, attaching to the poem iterated templates chosen
          from an a priori set in advance of the poem. "Foot" is
          shown as ambiguous: it may refer to one of the templates or
          an actual metrical unit of syllables in the poem matched by
          a template. To avoid baggage associated with the a priori,
          we construct a new basis for linear prosody based on
          bonding strength, the attachment of a syllable to the one
          ahead or behind it. The unit of meter in the poem
          itself--with no a priori entanglements--stems from
          clustering based on bonding strength.
          Bonding strength is really a spatial concept (in one
          dimension, space and time are nearly the same thing), and
          thus works in any topology. A non-linear prosody may be
          constructed spatially. We review the concept of hypertext
          episode, as a group of iterated small activations that
          cohere in the reader's mind. Bonding strength works within
          and through the episode.
          The most difficult issues for non-linear prosody concern
          time. Outside of the lexia there is no straightforward
          concept of time. We discuss first how time works inside the
          episode, then how time works among episodes. Time units may
          be equivalenced or form clear alternative sets. Localized
          units of time are spatially anchored and spatially related.
          Overall, in a non-linear poem there are time stretches
          which may be disengaged from one another. Clustering and
          bonding strength may work to form a framework for
          interrelating disengaged fragments of time.
          Finally we consider multiuser time.--jr
Copyright (c) 2000 Postmodern Culture & Johns Hopkins University

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Last Modified: Thursday, 05-Oct-2000 16:40:44 EDT