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 19, Number 3 (May, 2009)              ISSN: 1053-1920

Eyal Amiran

Review Editor:                      
Ellen McCallum

Advisory Board: 		    
Lisa Brawley
James F. English                                    
Paula Geyh
Stuart Moulthrop
John Unsworth

Editorial Staff, UC Irvine:	 
Vuslat Demirkoparan
Vicki Hsieh
Annie Moore, Editorial Coordinator
Rob Schoenbeck
Ameeth Vijay
Open Access Coordinator, University of Virginia:			
Claire Chantell

Editorial Board:                                           

     James Berger                   James Morrison
     Marcus Boon                    Sianne Ngai
     Heesok Chang                   Patrick O'Donnell
     Wendy Hui Kyong Chun	    Bob Perelman
     Ashley Dawson                  Marjorie Perloff
     Johanna Drucker                Peggy Phelan
     Graham Hammill                 Arkady Plotnitsky
     Terry Harpold                  Tilottoma Rajan
     Steven Helmling                Judith Roof
     David Herman                   Susan Schultz
     Matthew Kirschenbaum           Steven Shaviro
     Neil Larsen                    Rei Terada
     Jacques Lerza                  Darren Tofts
     Akira Lippitt                  Paul Trembath
     Jan Mieszkowski  	            Jeffrey Williams         		                                            
    Lili Hsieh, Romance in the Age of Cybernetic 
    Conviviality: Hsia Yü’s Pink Noise and the Poetics of 
    Postcolonial Translation
    Orit Halpern, Anagram, Gestalt, Game in Maya Deren: 
    Reconfiguring the Image in Post-war Cinema
    Paul Stephens, Self-Portrait in a Context Mirror: 
    Pain and Quotation in the Conceptual Writing 
    of Craig Dworkin  
    Michael Harrison, The Queer Spaces and Fluid 
    Bodies of Nazario’s Anarcoma     
    Grzegorz Wroblewski, three poems, translated 
    from the Polish by Agnieszka Pokojska
    Patrick F. Durgin, Matches, in Our Time. A review of 
    Carla Harryman, _Adorno’s Noise_. Ithaca, NY: Essay 
    Press, 2008. 
    Alessandro Porco, “Time is Illmatic”: A Critical 
    Retrospective on Nas’s Groundbreaking Debut. A review 
    of Michael Eric Dyson and Sohail Daulatzai (eds.), _Born to 
    Use Mics: Reading Nas’s Illmatic_. New York: Basic Civitas, 
    Ken Hillis, From Capital to Karma: James Cameron’s Avatar. 
    Dir. James Cameron. 20th Century Fox, 2009.  
    Vicki Callahan, Liu’s Ethics of the Database. A review of 
    Alan Liu, _Local Transcendence: Essays on Postmodern 
    Historicism and the Database_. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 
    2008. Print.
                      Notices (HTML Version Only)
                      Notes on Contributors
    Orit Halpern, Anagram, Gestalt, Game in Maya Deren: 
    Reconfiguring the Image in Post-war Cinema
        * Abstract: This article examines the relationship between 
    the film work of American Avant-garde filmmaker Maya Deren and 
    Cold-war science, particularly the sciences of Gestalt psychology, 
    cybernetics, game theory, and anthropology. The central concern is 
    to link Deren’s investment in time and in transforming the 
    cinematic image with contemporaneous developments in science, 
    technology, and politics. Using her engagement with the 
    cybernetician and anthropologist Gregory Bateson as a frame, the 
    essay demonstrates that Deren’s attitude to temporality and 
    representation is both similar to and radically different from that 
    emerging in psychology, anthropology, communication science and 
    game theory after the war. This cinema excavates the probabilistic 
    and reflexive nature of time, as understood in both art and 
    science during this period, to create new associations between 
    subjects, screens, and life. However, Deren’s work produces 
    associations and potentials that the game theories and technologies 
    with which she is concerned do not. Her work utilizes the 
    discourse of temporality and representation taken from these 
    sciences, while refusing to repeat without difference, and so 
    blocking a return to older discourses of objectivity, authority, 
    and knowledge. --oh 
    Michael Harrison, The Queer Spaces and Fluid Bodies of Nazario’s 
        * Abstract: At a time when Spanish culture was attempting to 
    emerge from the shadow of an oppressive dictatorship, a generation 
    of queer artists used comics to comment on the time’s significant 
    cultural changes. This essay examines the original queer 
    sensibility of the comic Anarcoma, by Nazario, as a symbol of the 
    changes that were happening all over post-Franco Spain. Centering 
    on the exploits of the titular transsexual detective, Anarcoma 
    takes the cultural and sexual expectations inherited from 
    franquismo and queers them, resulting in a new set of images 
    which can be associated with democratic Spain.               
    With its distinct visual representations, Anarcoma refigures 
    gendered and sexual bodies while navigating real Barcelona spaces. 
    This use of urban space rhetorically ties the boundary crossing of 
    Anarcoma as a fictional individual with the developments and 
    changes in the gay community of Barcelona and in Spain at large. 
    An analysis of the specific spaces and how they are refigured and 
    linked to the body of Anarcoma serves to reflect the development 
    of gay identity in Spain. The fluid body of the detective, 
    visually tied to masculinity and femininity, sometimes 
    simultaneously, elucidates the way gender is presented in comics 
    and shows how questions of gender and gender norms figure 
    prominently in the nascent gay movement of Spain.  A further 
    analysis of the comic’s secondary characters also highlights 
    this queering of the norms through the further abstraction of 
    coded images of gender. --mh                                  
    Lili Hsieh, Romance in the Age of Cybernetic Conviviality: Hsia 
    Yü’s Pink Noise and the Poetics of Postcolonial Translation 
        * Abstract: In 2007, acclaimed Taiwanese postmodern poet Hsia 
    Yü published a transparent book of bilingual poems generated mostly 
    from weblogs (in English) and from a computer translation program 
    (in Chinese). The book, Pink Noise (now available on Amazon), has 
    ignited enthusiastic responses among Hsia Yü’s “lay readers” in 
    Taiwan, but like many other postmodernist works from a postcolonial 
    context, has not yet received much critical attention. The essay 
    begins with the question of locating or localizing Hsia Yü’s 
    postmodernism in postcolonial, post-Martial-Law Taiwan, reading 
    the form of layered transparency and the play with (artificial) 
    language and (machinic) translation not as a free play of 
    signifiers or equivalent of concrete or conceptual art but as a 
    realistic representation of digital (uneven) globalization. 
    Reading Hsia Yü’s bilingual poems closely through Lacan’s theory 
    of alienation and Wittgenstein’s ideas on nonsense, the essay 
    shows that the English/Weblish and the Chinese/Translationese can 
    be read as different kinds of language games which are signposts 
    to the questions concerning the status of English as a global 
    language, the loss and love of translation in a postcolonial 
    context, the return from narratology to a musicology of poetry, 
    and the tremendously rich “nonsense” that happens when two h
    eterogeneous and disparagingly hegemonic national languages 
    meet. In conclusion, Pink Noise, unlike modernism with its 
    implicit claim to whiteness, trans-lates negative dialogics 
    into a convivial romance of poetry. --lh
    Paul Stephens, Self-Portrait in a Context Mirror: Pain 
    and Quotation in the Conceptual Writing of Craig Dworkin
        * Abstract: This essay explores the role of quotation in 
    the writing of the poet-critic Craig Dworkin. Dworkin's “Dure,” 
    an ekphrastic prose poem concerning a Dürer self-portrait, is a 
    complex meditation on selfhood, the representation of pain, and 
    the nature of linguistic appropriation. “Dure” demonstrates that 
    an appropriative, heavily quotational poetics can enact a 
    process of therapeutic self-critique. To the postauthorial (and 
    posthistorical) malaise of Barthes’s “the text is a tissue of 
    quotations,” Dworkin responds with a self-portrait in a tissue 
    of quotations, enacting a writing cure, or a writing-through 
    cure. Extensively quotational works are often associated with 
    parody and satire—but such works, this essay suggests, can also 
    be sincere in intent, and can mourn, as well as heal, by 
    thematizing intersubjectivity. Although Dworkin elsewhere 
    advocates a poetics “of intellect rather than emotion,” this 
    essay claims that “Dure” enacts something along the lines of a 
    return to expressive autobiography, somewhat paradoxically by 
    way of a poetics of citationality. --ps
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