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 13, Number 1 (September, 2002)              ISSN: 1053-1920

Editors:                            Lisa Brawley
                                    James F. English

Editors Emeritus:                   Eyal Amiran
                                    Stuart Moulthrop
                                    John Unsworth

Review Editor:                      Paula Geyh

Managing Editor:                    Claire Chantell

Research Assistants:                Elizabeth Bridgham 
            			    Samara Landers 
            		            Michael Lundbland 

Editorial Board:                                           

     Nahum Chandler                 Patrick O'Donnell
     Heesok Chang                   Elaine Orr
     Ashley Dawson                  Bob Perelman
     J. Yellowlees Douglas          Marjorie Perloff
     Johanna Drucker                Fred Pfeil
     Diane Gromala                  Peggy Phelan
     Graham Hammill                 Arkady Plotnitsky
     Terry Harpold                  Judith Roof
     David Herman                   Susan Schultz
     Marcia Ian                     William Spanos
     Michael Joyce                  Katie Stewart
     Matthew Kirschenbaum           Allucquere Roseanne Stone
     Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett  Gary Lee Stonum
     Neil Larsen                    Rei Terada 
     Brian Massumi                  Darren Tofts
     Jerome McGann                  Paul Trembath
     Adrian Miles                   Greg Ulmer
     Jim Morrison
     Larysa Mykyta                                          
    Bradley Butterfield, The Baudrillardian Symbolic, 9/11, 
    and the War of Good and Evil 
    David Rando, Reading Gravity's Rainbow After September 
    Eleventh: An Anecdotal Approach 
    Christopher Douglas, "You Have Unleashed a Horde of 
    Barbarians!": Fighting Indians, Playing Games, Forming 
    Janet Holtman, Documentary Prison Films and the 
    Production of Disciplinary Institutional "Truth" 
                           Review Essay
    David Herman, Saussure and the Grounds of Interpretation. 
    A review of Roy Harris, _Saussure and His Interpreters_. 
    New York: New York UP, 2001.
    Jason Camlot, The Victorian Postmodern. A review of John 
    Kucich and Dianne F. Sadoff, eds., _Victorian Afterlife: 
    Postmodern Culture Rewrites the Nineteenth Century_. 
    tMinneapolis: U of Minnesota P, 2001. 
    Amy J. Elias, Hip Librarians, Dweeb Chic: Romances of the Archive. 
    A review of Suzanne Keen, _Romances of the Archive in Contemporary 
    British Fiction_. Toronto: U of Toronto P, 2001. 
    Jesse Cohn, What is Postanarchism "Post"? A review of Saul Newman,
    _From Bakunin to Lacan: Anti-Authoritarianism and the Dislocation 
    of Power_. Lanham, MD: Lexington, 2001. 
    Andrew Kimbrough, Photo-Performance in Cyberspace: The CD-ROMs of
    Hugo Glendinning and Tim Etchells with Forced Entertainment. A 
    review of _Frozen Palaces_. CD-ROM by Hugo Glendinning and Tim 
    Etchells with Forced Entertainment. Collected on artintact 5, 
    produced by Zentrum für Kunst und Medientechnologie Karlsruhe 
    (ZKM), 1999. Buchhandelsausgabe/Trade Edition;
    _Nightwalks_. CD-ROM by Hugo Glendinning and Tim Etchells with 
    Forced Entertainment. Sheffield, UK: Forced Entertainment, 1998. 
    On Joseph Tate's "Radiohead's Antivideos: Works of Art in the 
    Age of Electronic Reproduction," Postmodern Culture 12.3
                      Notices (WWW Version Only)
                      Notes on Contributors
    Bradley Butterfield, The Baudrillardian Symbolic,  9/11, and the 
    War of Good and Evil 
        o Abstract: This essay compares Jean Baudrillard's notion of 
          theoretical terrorism, based on his theory of symbolic 
          exchange, to his remarks about real terrorism before and 
          after 9/11. Symbolic exchange plays on the principle of 
          "ineluctable demand," which Baudrillard derives mainly from 
          Marcel Mauss's theory of the gift in "primitive" societies. 
          The symbolic value of the gift is not its reducibility to 
          another value, but the singular challenge it poses, which 
          Baudrillard says still haunts the order of capital. In his 
          recent "L'Esprit du Terrorisme," Baudrillard claims that we 
          were all complicit in the spectacle of 9/11 and in the 
          terrorists' resentment towards the U.S. as the world's only 
          superpower. Counting also on our fascination with spectacles, 
          they were able to enlist "the system" against itself by 
          placing upon the media the demand that it report and thereby 
          spread their gift of death. But death is not valued 
          symbolically in the U.S., not in Baudrillard's terms, and so 
          the violence of the spectacle in the end only quickens the 
          numbness and indifference of the masses. The terrorists' 
          hope, nevertheless, was that the U.S. would lose face in its 
          retaliation in a way that the rest of the world would 
          recognize. I argue that Nietzsche's conception of "mercy" is 
          the only ethical response to the challenge of 9/11, if we 
          recognize our symbolic standing in the world. The U.S. can 
          only win its present war of Good vs. Evil by going beyond it, 
          by forgiving debt, thus giving a gift of life in excess of 
          what the terrorists gave in their gift of death. --bb 
    David Rando, Reading _Gravity's Rainbow_ After September 
    Eleventh: An Anecdotal Approach 
        o Abstract: This essay asks two primary questions: what and 
          how can _Gravity's Rainbow_ tell us about the world we live 
          in after 9/11? Do anecdotes gain currency in times of war? 
          Specifically, this essay seeks to read a sampling of the
          profuse post-9/11 anecdotes about children who break their 
          piggy-banks and donate money to relief funds alongside 
          Thomas Pynchon's graphic sexual depictions of children in 
          the setting of World War II. How do each of these kinds of 
          representation affect a state's ability to establish itself 
          as innocent and to prosecute war? Centering on the figure of 
          Zwölfkinder, a miniature of the state run by children in the 
          novel, the essay explores how the state launders its
          institutions and its finances through its children. This 
          state-in-miniature is akin to the diminutive form of the 
          anecdote, which functions similarly as a site of
          innocence creation. Gravity's Rainbow's refusal to 
          constitute children as either innocent or experienced blocks 
          the kind of innocence production that post-9/11 "piggy-bank" 
          anecdotes help to establish in the context of the 
          state-written innocence/experience narrative. Children in 
          such multiply mediated anecdotes become points of contact 
          for the diverse desires of the public, the media, and other 
          institutions, where the state takes its ultimate pleasure. 
          In fact, rather than a recent phenomenon related directly to 
          the 9/11 disaster, this specific form of piggy-bank anecdote 
          has a history and is tied to specific ideological responses 
          to war, as demonstrated in an early nineteenth-century 
          anecdote that is structured almost identically to these 
          newer ones. At the same time, however, the essay discusses 
          the delicate historicity of this form and asks how history 
          expresses itself in these and other anecdotes, questioning 
          generally how these anecdotes are poised at an important 
          nexus between event, narrative, and history. --dr 
    Christopher Douglas, "You Have Unleashed a Horde of 
    Barbarians!": Fighting Indians, Playing Games, Forming 
        o Abstract: We are about four or five years into the 
          formation of a new discipline, that of digital game studies. 
          At this  early stage, digital game studies is necessarily 
          and self-consciously concerned with its own formation, and 
          recent commentators have differed over whether digital games 
          should become part of an already existing discipline like 
          cinema, literary, new media, or cultural studies or whether 
          it needs to resist such "colonizing" attempts and develop 
          into a discipline of its own, with a coherent object of 
          study and institutional support. This essay agrees with the 
          warnings against the kind of methodological blindnesses 
          likely to result from such colonizations--that games will be 
          understood as just a more interactive kind of film or  
          narrative--but argues nonetheless that each of these 
          disciplines (and others) is likely to have valuable 
          conceptual tools that we need to carefully adapt for game 
          studies. Moreover, it's sometimes precisely the historical 
          baggage of the old disciplines that provides insight into 
          the structure of game use. This essay argues that the
          ideological content of one series of influential games, _Sid 
          Meier's Civilization_ series, comes to light when the 
          historical, disciplinary blindness to forms of American 
          imperialism in American literary studies are considered. The
          _Civilization_ games transform and display the symbolic Native 
          presence in the land whose accidental, terrestrial effects 
          in the games must be destroyed in order for the player to 
          win the game; however, and moving beyond the kind of 
          ideological representations found in film or narrative, in 
          these games the users must perform their logic, a logic 
          which is coded into the very rules of the game. Games like 
          _Civilization_ thus rehearse a series of lessons about 
          national destiny, race and colonization, and the moral 
          fitness of civilizations and individuals. --cd 
    Janet Holtman, Documentary Prison Films and the 
    Production of Disciplinary Institutional "Truth" 
        o Abstract: Drawing primarily upon Michel Foucault's theories 
          regarding knowledge and power, this essay examines the 
          discursive mode of the documentary prison film. Beginning 
          with Foucault's brief discussion of the role of newspapers 
          and crime novels in nineteenth-century France, the essay
          contemplates the similar ways in which humanist discourses 
          might be imbricated within today's popular and documentary 
          films and the particular ways in which social force is 
          disseminated by documentary prison films. Steven Shaviro's 
          conceptualization of the "double articulation" of the bodily 
          and the textual within filmic discourse is a pivotal 
          concept. The essay concludes with an examination of 
          Frederick Wiseman's provocative prison documentary 
          _Titicut Follies_, the only American film ever to be banned 
          for reasons other than national security or obscenity 
          (though the judge's original decision contained an argument 
          relating to the latter, which the essay attempts to take  
          into account). Foucault's discussion of the asignificatory 
          "monument" in _The Archaeology of Knowledge plays an
          important role in the essay's conclusions about Wiseman's 
          film and other documentaries. --jh 
Copyright (c) 2002 Postmodern Culture & Johns Hopkins University

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