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 3 (May, 1994)                    ISSN: 1053-1920

Editors:                           Eyal Amiran, issue editor
                                   John Unsworth

Review Editor:                     Jim English

Managing Editors:                  Jonathan Beasley
                                   Chris Barrett

Editorial Assistant:               Amy Sexton

List Manager:                      Chris Barrett

Editorial Board:  

     Sharon Bassett                Phil Novak 
     Michael Berube                Patrick O'Donnell             
     Marc Chenetier                Elaine Orr
     Greg Dawes                    Marjorie Perloff
     bell hooks                    Fred Pfeil
     Graham Hammill                David Porush
     Phillip Brian Harper          Mark Poster
     David Herman                  Carl Raschke   
     E. Ann Kaplan                 Avital Ronell             
     Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett Susan Schultz 
     Arthur Kroker                 William Spanos
     Neil Larsen                   Gary Lee Stonum
     Tan Lin                       Tony Stewart
     Jerome McGann                 Chris Straayer
     Jim Morrison                  Rei Terada
     Stuart Moulthrop              Paul Trembath         
     Larysa Mykyta                 Greg Ulmer


AUTHOR & TITLE                                              FN FT

Masthead, Contents, Abstracts,                       CONTENTS.594
     Instructions for retrieving files

Jonathan Beller, "Cinema, Capital of the              BELLER.594
     Twentieth Century"                                

Valerie Fulton, "An Other Frontier: Voyaging         FULTON-V.594
     West with Mark Twain and _Star Trek_'s 
     Imperial Subject"

Ann Larabee, "Remembering the Shuttle, Forgetting     LARABEE.594
     the Loom: Interpreting the Challenger 

Geoffrey Sharpless, "Clockwork Education: The        SHARPLES.594
     Persistence of the Arnoldian Ideal"

Alice Fulton, Three Poems                            FULTON-A.594

Steven Helmling, "Historicizing Derrida"             HELMLING.594

Eric Murphy Selinger, "Important Pleasures and       SELINGER.594
     Others: Michael Palmer, Ronald Johnson"                     


Gregory Ulmer, "'Metaphoric Rocks: A                 POP-CULT.594
     Psychogeography of Tourism and Monumentality"  


Jim Hicks, "Forward into the Past."  Review of       REVIEW-1.594
     Bruno Latour, _We Have Never Been Modern_, 
     Trans. Catherine Porter.  Cambridge: Harvard
     UP, 1993; and Ivan Illich, _In the Vineyard 
     of the Text_.  Chicago: Chicago UP, 1993.

Vitaly Chernetsky, "Late Soviet Culture: A           REVIEW-2.594
     Parallax For Postmodernism."  Review of 
     Lahusen, Thomas, and Gene Kuperman, eds., 
     _Late Soviet Culture_.  Durham: Duke UP, 

Brent Wood, "From Technology to Machinism."          REVIEW-3.594
     Review of Verena Andermatt Conley, ed.,
     _Rethinking Technologies_.  Minneapolis: 
     Minnesota UP, 1993.

Gregory Ulmer, "Unthinkable Writing."  Review        REVIEW-4.594
     of _Perforations_ 5 (1994): "Bodies, 
     Dreams, Technologies."  Public Domain, Inc., 
     POB 8899, Atlanta, GA. 31106-0899.  

Ira Lightman, "Coalitions and Coteries."             REVIEW-5.594
     Review of Tim Edwards, _Erotics and 
     Politics_.  London: Routledge and Kegan 
     Paul, 1994.

Woodrow B. Hood, "Laurie Anderson and the            REVIEW-6.594
     Politics of Performance."  Review of Laurie 
     Anderson, _Stories from the Nerve Bible: A 
     Retrospective 1972-1992_.  Performed at the 
     Lied Arts Center, Lawrence, Kansas, March 29, 

Announcements and Advertisements               [WWW Version only]

                                                       (17 files)



Jonathan L. Beller, "Cinema, Capital of the Twentiety Century."

          ABSTRACT:  The lithograph, the printing press and the
     museum, all machines for putting images in motion, are forms
     of early cinema.  As the intensity of visual circulation
     increases, Benjamin's "aura" undergoes a change of state (or
     density) and passes over to simulacrum.  Aura and simulacra
     are the result of value accreting on images in
     circulation--visual fetishes, which are the result of the
     captured labor of looking.  The concept of visual economy is
     developed using _Cinema 1_ and _Cinema 2_ of Gilles Deleuze.
     By arguing that _Cinema_ might have been for the twentieth
     century what Marx's _Capital_ was for the nineteenth, had
     Deleuze not suppressed the immanence of political
     economy--cinema's "internal struggle with informatics"--the
     cinematic events articulated in Deleuze's concepts can be
     read as systemic experiments concerned with what can be done
     to the body through the eye.  Cinema realizes a new
     interface between machines and bodies.  The sublimity that
     Deleuze finds in cinema's time-image, its "severing of the
     sensory-motor link," is then considered in relation to
     popular mediations and the *necessary* inaction  of
     contemporary viewers.  From the premise that "to look is to
     labor" I derive "the attention theory of value."  Other
     texts considered include the Coen brothers' _Barton Fink_, 
     Orson Welles' _Citizen Cane_, and the IMAX film _Blue
     Planet_.  --JLB

Valerie Fulton, "An Other Frontier: Voyaging West with Mark
     Twain and _Star Trek_'s Imperial Subject."

          ABSTRACT: _Star Trek: The Next Generation_, a 
     television program about the future's altruistic 
     exploration of space, remains grounded in contemporary
     ideological representations of the American frontier,
     radical individualism, and naturalized versions of identity.
     This essay examines one significant way in which the program
     remystifies, so as tacitly to perpetuate, the notion of a 
     colonial "self" in the midst of alien "others."  In a
     two-part episode that  features Samuel Clemens, the
     anti-imperialist tenor of the writer's work is gradually
     suppressed in favor of a more assessible (and commodified) 
     representation of Twain as America's "gatekeeper to the
     West."  This process by which commodification stifles
     alternative discourse--and, in particular, the process by
     which the commodified subject becomes imperial--is an effect
     of television not because the medium attracts a popular (and
     therefore "uncritical") audience, but because television is
     so clearly dependent on the same corporate agencies that
     have sought economic control in the global arena.  --VF

Ann Larabee, "Remembering the Shuttle, Forgetting the Loom: 
     Interpreting the Challenger Disaster."

          ABSTRACT:  The Challenger space shuttle explosion in 
     1986 threatened political mythologies of the final frontier,
     and, in a larger sense, cast doubt on systems theories and
     the entire cultural project of biotechnical systems
     building.  In the public discourse of the Challenger
     disaster, extending into public hearings and sociological
     analyses of NASA, the body was reconstructed within an
     organizational safety model that denied any further
     possibility of collapse.  The Rogers Commission attempted to
     reinstate national faith in technological existence, made
     safe through vigilance and the most minute surveillance of
     body-machine relations.  Invested in government consulting,
     the academic response was an effort to restore the vision of
     manned space flight, and, in an entirely self-referential
     mode, to reassure its academic audience that their
     ideologies, disciplines, and bodies were still in place and
     all was right with the world.  Thus, the disaster provided
     the text for the post-catastrophe extraterrestrial survival
     of the knowledge class, constructed and maintained through
     living systems theories.  While the Challenger disaster
     suggested that biotechnical organization was ever on the
     verge of collapse; the massive public relations campaign for
     space settlements imagined a safe new biosphere, a closed
     ecology, for academics, civil servants, and corporate
     managers, freed from environmental disaster, atmospheric
     impurity, starvation, poverty, disease, and gravity.  --AL

Geoffrey Sharpless, "Clockwork Education: The Persistence of
     Arnoldian Masculinity."

          ABSTRACT: Burgess's _A Clockwork Orange_ is nostalgic for
     a version of masculinity best understood as typical of the
     Arnoldian public school.  The Russianized argot and
     Dionysian "ultra-violence" of Alex the droog do not
     immediately evoke Hughes's Tom Brown's School-days or other
     portraits of the public school boy; nonetheless, reading
     Alex and Tom as twins, it does not take long to discover
     even in Hughes's happy fantasy of Rugby that his Arnoldian
     telos of self-control, heterosexual love, moderation, and
     upright morality is interpenetrated with perversity,
     pederasty, a fetishization of style, Machiavellian
     management training, an interest in hand-to-hand combat and
     blood-letting, and, ultimately, a droogish conviction that
     adult heterosexual manliness smacks of death.  The Arnoldian
     schoolboy and the droog prove to have always been thoroughly
     integrated; Alex's wickedness and cruelty are as much the
     stuff of empire-building as is the Arnoldian gentleman's
     phantasy of morality.  In effect, though Rugby's classrooms
     are now called Correctional Schools, State Jails, and
     conditioning laboratories, and the playing fields have
     become the London streets, Alex's education terminates in
     the same phantasized ideal of adult masculinity as Tom
     Brown's.  Burgess's vision has not overturned a public
     school idea of proper masculine development, but fulfilled
     Dr. Thomas Arnold's ambition to write his pedagogy across
     the face of the world.  --GS

Steve Helmling, "Historicizing Derrida."

          ABSTRACT:  Accounts of Derrida's work stress its
     diversity, and handle it in various ways; but none that I
     know of narrativizes this diversity, whether to relate it to
     its historical period, or to treat it as a corpus with a
     development, an evolving play of tensions or
     contradictions--in short, a history--of its own.  This paper
     aims to initiate such an account, by confronting early
     Derrida with late(r)--for purposes of argument, Derrida
     before 1968 and after.  The focus is on "writing" in two
     senses:  1) as *theme*, the object of Derrida's
     "grammatology," and 2) as Derrida's own writing
     *practice*--what he calls "perverformativity," or "writing
     otherwise."  Before 1968, in _Of Grammatology_ (1967),
     "writing" was thematized (implicitly on the model of Hegel's
     master/slave) as the agent or figure of an imminent
     %Aufhebung% of "speech" (i.e., phonocentric logocentrism). 
     But by the early '70s, "writing" had become (and has since
     remained) merely another "inscription"--*the*
     inscription--of logocentric closure.  This shift in *theme*
     corresponds with a shift in Derrida's own writing
     *practice*, from the analytic and expository deconstruction
     of the earlier work to a self-regarding %ecriture% in which
     deconstruction is enacted rather than argued.  Throughout,
     the paper considers the politics of such movements within
     Derrida's oeuvre in relation both to Derrida's precursors
     (Marcel Mauss, Sartre) and his postmodern contemporaries
     (Foucault, Jameson, Lyotard) in an effort to "historicize"
     not only Derrida's work, but its reception, its influence,
     and its success.  --SH

Eric Murphy Selinger, "Important Pleasures and Others: Michael
     Palmer, Ronald Johnson."
          ABSTRACT:  Discussions of experimental poetry
     frequently speak of its disruptive or subversive importance,
     leaving questions of pleasure to languish, all-but
     unaddressed.  This essay explores two texts, Michael
     Palmer's _Sun_ and Ronald Johnson's _ARK_, which engage the
     question of plesure in the context of opposed aesthetic and
     ethical traditions.  In his efforts to write about
     historical atrocity without neglecting "the mysteries of
     reference," Palmer becomes a poet of the sublime--at least
     of that limited sublimity of shock which Lyotard finds at
     the heart of the postmodern.  Johnson, by contrast, makes an
     exultant Longinian sublime a constituent part of the
     experience of beauty.  An "artist of abundancies," in Robert
     Duncan's phrase, Johnson draws on physics and biology to
     write a poetry where pleasure is not ideologically suspect,
     and where linguistic self-reference is not a critique of
     appropriative naming, but a version of nature's fractal
     flowering.  --EMS

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