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 6, Number 3 (May, 1996)              ISSN: 1053-1920

Editors:     	 			Eyal Amiran
					Lisa Brawley
					Stuart Moulthrop, issue editor
				   	John Unsworth

Review Editor:				Jim English 
					Paula Geyh

Managing Editor:			Sarah Wells 

List Manager:				Jessamy Town 

Editorial Board:

     Sharon Bassett 			Phil Novak
     Michael Berube 			Chimalum Nwankwo
     Nahum Chandler			Patrick O'Donnell
     Marc Chenetier 			Elaine Orr
     Greg Dawes 			Marjorie Perloff
     J. Yellowlees Douglas 		Fred Pfeil 
     Graham Hammill			Peggy Phelan
     Phillip Brian Harper   		David Porush
     David Herman			Mark Poster
     bell hooks 			Carl Raschke
     E. Ann Kaplan 			Avital Ronell
     Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett 	Susan Schultz
     Arthur Kroker 			William Spanos
     Neil Larsen 			Tony Stewart
     Tan Lin 				Allucquere Roseanne Stone
     Saree Makdisi			Gary Lee Stonum
     Jerome McGann 			Chris Straayer
     Uppinder Mehan			Rei Terada
     Jim Morrison 			Paul Trembath
     Larysa Mykata 			Greg Ulmer    



     TITLE                                               FILENAME
     Stephen A. Fredman, "'How to Get 		      fredman.596
     Out of the Room That Is the Book?' 
     Paul Auster and the Consequences 
     of Confinement"

     Scott Schaffer, "Disney and the                 schaffer.596
     Imagineering of Histories"

     Wes Chapman, "Male Pro-Feminism                  chapman.596
     and the Masculinist Gigantism of 
     _Gravity's Rainbow_"

     Charles Shepherdson, "The                    shepherdson.596
      Intimate Alterity of the Real"

     Adrian Miles, "Hyperweb"		       [WWW Version only]

     Chris Semansky, "Youngest Brother               semansky.596
     of Brothers"

     Cory Brown, "My Name in Water,"                    brown.596
     "Adumbration," "Offering," and 
     "Depth Perception"

RELATED READINGS			       [WWW Version only]

     Andrew McMurry, "The Slow                       pop-cult.596
     Apocalypse: A Gradualist Theory 
     of the World's Demise"


     James Berger, "Ends and Means:                  review-1.596
     Theorizing Apocalypse in the 1990's." 
     Review of Lee Quinby, _Anti-Apocalypse: 
     Exercises in Genealogical Criticism_
     (Minneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 1994), 
     Stephen D. O'Leary, _Arguing the 
     Apocalypse: A Theory of Millennial 
     Rhetoric_, (New York: Oxford UP, 1994),
     Richard Dellamora, _Apocalyptic 
     Overtures: Sexual Politics and the Sense 
     of an Ending_ (New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 

     Kenneth Sherwood, "A Millennial Poetics."       review-2.596
     Review of Jerome Rothenberg and Pierre 
     Joris, eds., _Poems for the Millennium: 
     The University of California Book of Modern 
     and Postmodern Poetry (Volume One: From Finde
     Sie'cle to Negritude)_.  Berkeley U of 
     California P, 1995.

     Joe Amato, "Personal Effects, Public Effects,   review-3.596
     Special Effects: Institutionalizing American 
     Poetry."  Review of Jed Rasula, _The
     American Poetry Wax Museum: Reality Effects,
     1940-1990_.  National Council of Teachers of

     Anjali Arondekar, "The Problem of Strategy:     review-4.596
     How to Read Race, Gender, and Class in the 
     Colonial Context."  Review of Anne McClintock,
     _Imperial Leather: Race, Gender and Sexuality 
     in the Colonial Contest_.  New York: 
     Routledge, 1995.

     Kelly Cresap, "Bisexuals, Cyborgs, and          review-5.596
     Chaos."  Review of Marjorie Garber, _Vice 
     Versa: Bisexuality and the Eroticism of 
     Everyday Life_.  New York: Simon & Schuster, 

     Mark Shadle, "Schama and the New Histories of   review-6.596
     Landscape."  Review of Simon Schama, 
     _Landscape and Memory_.  New York: A.A.
     Knopf, 1995.


     Selected Letters from Readers                    letters.596


     Announcements and Advertisements          [WWW Version only]



Stephen Fredman, "'How to Get Out of the Room That Is the Book?': 
Paul Auster and the Consequences of Confinement"

     ABSTRACT: In his novels, poetry, and memoir, Paul Auster
     explores a primary image of "the room of the book," which
     figures the space of writing as a place where life and
     writing meet in an unstable, creative, and sometimes
     dangerous encounter.  Focusing especially on _The Invention
     of Solitude_, this essay examines the room of the book
     through three interpretive frameworks that help to make its
     dimensions apprehensible.  These frameworks represent
     dynamic issues that arise from within the room of the book,
     issues that account for some of the characteristic
     complexities of Auster's work:  1) a contest between prose
     and poetry that colors much of his writing; 2) a
     parthenogenic fantasy of masculine creativity that he
     constructs with great effort; and 3) a pervasive
     preoccupation with Holocaust imagery.  Auster's room of the
     book houses a fascinating struggle between the absolutizing
     qualities of poetry and the narrative investment in
     fictional characters; it functions for the male writer both
     as a site of retreat from engagement with women and as an
     alchemical retort in which a parthenogenic theory of
     creativity can be proposed; and it becomes a space of
     hiding and torment, in which the irresolvable problems of
     writing with reference to the Holocaust can be embodied.
     In Auster's prose, the postmodern inquiry into the
     relationship between writing and identity metamorphoses
     into a confrontation with a series of gender issues,
     oriented around the father, and then metamorphoses again
     into an interrogation of the particularly Jewish concern
     with memory.  Using memory to probe the ruptures in
     contemporary life, Auster returns ultimately to the
     unspeakable memories of the Holocaust, thus laying bare
     ways in which the postmodern is inescapably post-Holocaust.

Scott Schaffer, "Disney and the Imagineering of Histories"

     ABSTRACT: Starting with the implicit assumption that the
     products of the mass media play an important part in the
     everyday consciousness of the people who consume these
     products, this paper argues that the animated films and the
     theme parks created by the Walt Disney Company establish
     what I call a "boundary maintenance mechanism" in its
     American consumers.  By engaging in a textual analysis of
     three of Disney's animated films (_The Three Caballeros_,
     _The Jungle Book_, and _Aladdin_), as well as a textual
     analysis that draws on ethnographic fieldwork done while I
     was employed at the Disneyland theme park in Anaheim,
     California, I utilize the writings of Fanon on "black
     consciousness" to argue that the inscription of American
     political and cultural imperial discourses into stories
     derived from local colonial situations serves as a way of
     thinking as a "white American."  That is, Disney's products
     provide, through the development of their culture of
     consumption and at the level of the political unconscious,
     a consciousness of how their consumers *should* perceive
     themselves as proper "Americans"  according to their place
     in the world. The boundary produced by this political
     unconscious is coterminous with the expansion of American
     cultural, political, and economic power.  Continued
     consumption, guaranteed by the veritable wealth of local
     stories as well as the continual recycling of older
     animated films, ensures the stability of this political
     unconscious. -SS

Wes Chapman, "Male Pro-Feminism and the Masculinist Gigantism of 
_Gravity's Rainbow_"

     ABSTRACT: This essay examines the intersections between
     male gender anxiety and anti-essentialism in Thomas
     Pynchon's _Gravity's Rainbow_, in an effort to assess the
     viability of anti-essentialism as a political strategy for
     male anti-masculinists.  Within the novel, sexuality is
     shown to be conditioned by pornographic discourses so as to
     ensure that subjects of the state respond sexually to
     scenes of violence and domination and are thus complicit
     with the War's "structures favoring death."  Because
     subjectivities -- including, presumably, the author's and
     reader's -- are constructed by this intersection of
     masculinism and militarism, Pynchon's critique of them
     operates from within the very ideologies that it critiques.
     Pynchon's method is not to disengage from the complex of
     masculinism and militarism, but rather to write it out in
     extra large letters, so that its operation is made visible
     and its energies may be used against it.  While Pynchon's
     strategy makes masculinism visible, however, it also
     reinscribes the very masculinism it critiques and decenters
     women's perspectives.  The essay concludes by arguing that
     while anti-essentialism has been a necessary strategy for a
     male profeminist politics, it is not a sufficient strategy.
     Strategies and discourses are needed which take account of
     men's positions within social discourses and go beyond
     gesturing towards male complicity with oppressive
     structures to work towards new subjectivities which
     reconcile male self-fulfillment with recognition of women
     as subjects. -WC

Charles Shepherdson, "The Intimate Alterity of the Real"

     ABSTRACT: This article addresses the relation between the
     symbolic and the real in Lacan, and was written in response
     to readers's comments on an earlier piece published in
     _Postmodern Culture_.  Interpreters often stress Lacan's
     emphasis on language and the symbolic order, noting his
     dependence on Saussure and Levi-Strauss, but the concept of
     the real introduces issues that classical structuralism was
     not intended to address -- matters of sexuality and
     embodiment that take Freudian theory beyond linguistics.
     It is tempting to maintain that the category of the real
     introduces an appeal to biology, or to a pre-linguistic
     reality that language only partially and inadequately
     represents.  My principal claim is that the real is not
     equivalent to pre-linguistic reality, but is an effect of
     the symbolic order that nevertheless remains irreducible to
     language.  I address this problem in three related ways.
     The first concerns the logic of "inside and outside," and
     the question of whether the real is within language
     (constituted by the symbolic, as many proponents of
     discursive construction would claim), or somehow beyond
     language.  This section also deals with Lacan's topological
     references, and draws connections between topology and the
     body.  Current discussions of the "inside" and "outside"
     are heavily indebted to Derrida, and I suggest that his
     relation to Lacan calls for more extended analysis.
     Second, I discuss the "limits of formalization," arguing
     that the category of the real introduces a remainder or
     surplus-effect that disrupts the symbolic law, thereby
     posing the question of whether -- and in what sense --
     Lacan is a "post-structuralist."  This section also
     considers the "object a," the "cause of desire," and
     "jouissance" (as well as making some remarks on
     transference), as aspects of the real.  The expression
     "limits of formalization" suggests that these issues arise
     for many other thinkers who are concerned with the logical
     impasses of structuralism (notably Foucault and Derrida).
     The final section distinguishes two distinct versions of
     the real (as a pre-linguistic reality that is always lost
     when the imaginary and symbolic re-present it, and as a
     surplus-effect of symbolization itself), suggesting why the
     second is more accurate.  This section also discusses
     recent work by Judith Butler and Slavoj Zizek. -CS

HYPERTEXT ESSAY Adrian Miles, "Hyperweb"

     ABSTRACT: When we write *about* electronic textuality, most
     of us remain *ab*stract from and *out*side our subject,
     since scholarship is still happily married to fixed
     typography.  Lately, however, especially with the
     appearance of groundbreaking academic projects like Alan
     Liu's "Voice of the Shuttle" (
     humanitas_home.html), one begins to wonder about the
     old hearth and home.  Adrian Miles' "performative" essay on
     the nature of hypertext dallies temptingly with  some
     possibilities of discourse post-print.   A moving matrix of
     words and images, it makes inquiry into the message of an
     emerging, emergent medium.  Like hypertexts featured
     previously in _Postmodern Culture_, this one requires
     active "navigation" of the text; but because it exploits an
     interesting affordance of Hypertext Markup Language -- the
     curiously simple "client pull" effect -- the sensation is
     less of steering than of swimming against a tide.  You'll
     reach the shore eventually -- but where?  This you will
     find out; but first some technical advice: 

     Your Web browser must be capable of interpreting the HTML
      tag.  Microsoft Internet Explorer 2.0 and
     versions of Netscape Navigator later than 1.1 can do this.
     (You should still be able to read the text with other
     software, but the dynamics will be lost.)

     You can interrupt the automatic transitions in the text at
     any point by moving to some page outside of "Hyperweb."

     If you're reading this in Australia or New Zealand, you're
     invited to visit "Hyperweb" at its original location

     -- Stuart Moulthrop


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