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 7, Number 1 (September, 1996)              ISSN: 1053-1920

Editors:     	 			Eyal Amiran
					Lisa Brawley
					Graham Hammill, guest editor
					Stuart Moulthrop
				   	John Unsworth

Review Editor:				Paula Geyh

Managing Editor:			Sarah Wells 

List Manager:				Jessamy Town 

Research Assistants:			Anne Sussman
					Steven Wagner

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 
     Jim English			Peggy Phelan
     Graham Hammill			David Porush
     Phillip Brian Harper		Mark Poster
     David Herman			Carl Raschke
     bell hooks				Avital Ronell
     E. Ann Kaplan			Susan Schultz
     Barbara Kirshenblatt-Gimblett	William Spanos
     Arthur Kroker			Tony Stewart
     Neil Larsen			Allucquere Roseanne Stone
     Tan Lin				Gary Lee Stonum
     Saree Makdisi			Chris Strayer
     Jerome McGann			Rei Terada
     Uppinder Mehan			Paul Trembath
     Jim Morrison			Greg Ulmer
     Larysa Mykyta

Special Thanks:				Jennifer Hoyt



     TITLE                                               FILENAME

     Steven Helmling, "Jameson's Lacan"		     helmling.996

     Veronique M. Foti, "Representation			 foti.996
     Represented: Foucault, Velazquez,

     Special Section--Psychoanalysis and Cultural Studies:
     Graham Hammill, guest editor

     Allen Meek, "Guides to the Electropolis:		 meek.996
     Toward a Spectral Critique of the Media"

     Angelika Rauch, "Saving Philosophy in 		rauch.996
     Cultural Studies: The Case of Mother Wit"

     Vadim Linetski, "Poststructuralist 	     linetski.996
     Paraesthetics and the Phantasy of the
     Reversal of Generations"


     David Golumbia, "Hypertext"                     pop-cult.996


     Matthew Miller, "TRIP"		       [WWW Version only]


     Carina Yervasi, "Confessions of a Net           review-1.996
     Surfer: _New Chick_ and Grrrls on the
     Web."  Review of Carla Sinclair, _Net
     Chick: A Smart-Girl Guide to the Wired
     World_.  New York: Henry Holt and Company,

     Samuel Collins, "'Head Out On the Highway':     review-2.996
     Anthropological Encounters with the 
     Supermodern."  Review of Marc Auge, 
     _Non-Places: Introduction to an 
     Anthropology of Supermodernity_.  New York:
     Verso, 1995.

     Jon Ippolito, "Whose Opera Is This, Anyway?"    review-3.996
     Review of Tod Machover and MIT Media Lab's
     interactive _Brain Opera_, performed at 
     Lincoln Center, NYC, July 23-August 3, 1996.

     Thomas Swiss, "Music and Noise: Marketing       review-4.996
     Hypertexts."  Review of Eastgate Systems,

     Theresa Smalec, "(Re)Presenting the 	     review-5.996
     Renaissance on a Post-Modern Stage."  Review
     of Susan Bennett, _Performing Nostalgia: 
     Shifting Shakespeare and the Contemporary
     Past_.  London and New York: Routledge,

     Crystal Downing, "_Multiplicity_: %Una	     review-6.996
     Vista de Nada%."  Review of _Multiplicity_,
     directed by Harold Ramis, Columbia Pictures

     Brent Wood, "Resistance in Rhyme."  Review	     review-7.996
     of Russell Potter, _Spectacular Vernaculars:
     Hip-Hop and the Politics of Postmodernism_.
     Albany: Suny, 1995.


     Selected Letters from Readers                    letters.996

RELATED READINGS			       [WWW Version only]

     Announcements and Advertisements          [WWW Version only]



  Steven Helmling, "Jameson's Lacan"

     ABSTRACT: This essay surveys Fredric Jameson's engagement 
     with the work of Jacques Lacan. Jameson is one of the few 
     among commentators on Lacan to foreground Lacan's cryptic 
     and enigmatic prose style: Jameson's earliest mention of 
     Lacan in _The Prison-House of Language_ (1971) departs 
     from the premise that Lacan's writing offers an 
     "initiatory" experience rather than systematic exposition; 
     and Jameson's 1977 essay, "Imaginary and Symbolic in 
     Lacan," climaxes with a celebration of Lacan's "discourse of 
     the analyst" as an ethic for "cultural intellectuals"--a 
     style of utterance closer to "listening" than speaking, more 
     a speaking-with than a speaking-to or -of. The Lacanian 
     scriptible (to borrow a term from Barthes that Jameson 
     favors) enacts or performs Lacan's conviction of the 
     irreducibility of particular speech acts to a paraphraseable 
     "meaning," an %enonce% (or "letter") dissociable from the 
     impulse (or "spirit") of the enunciation itself--a gesture 
     that appeals to Jameson because just such irreducibility is 
     what Jameson stipulates for "dialectical" writing as such. 
     The success with which Lacan's writing resists what Jameson 
     calls "thematization," the kind of commodification or 
     reification to which written texts are specifically liable, 
     exemplifies (Jameson hopes) a "utopian" resistance to 
     ideology, or break-out from "ideological closure."

     But in _The Political Unconscious_ (1981), "ideological 
     closure" is a premise of the argument to an extent that 
     presupposes the impotence of any cultural production to break 
     out of it. In this context, the book's subtitle, _Narrative 
     as a Socially Symbolic Act_, implies the question whether 
     "socially symbolic" must not mean "ideological": whether a 
     "socially symbolic" protest against "ideological closure" can 
     escape functioning as a confirmation of it. In the book's 
     third chapter, Lacan is mobilized in ways that test this 
     sense of "symbolic" against the specifically Lacanian 
     evocation of "the Symbolic" as contrasted with "the 
     Imaginary." The "Imaginary/Symbolic" binary figures, on the 
     one hand, a fated devolution of desire and the libidinal 
     into the "ideological closure" of "the Symbolic," on the 
     other a more familiar ("Enlightenment") narrative of passage 
     from irrationalism to critical reason. "Imaginary/Symbolic" 
     transcodes in one way as "utopia/ideology," in another as 
     "ideology/critique." In the tension between these two 
     possibilities, Jameson maintains (one version or enactment 
     of) "the dialectic of utopia and ideology," in which cultural 
     production remains ever subject to ideological deformation, 
     yet also resists and preserves the promise of deliverance 
     from the closure of the ideological condition.--sh

Veronique M. Foti, "Representation Represented: Foucault, 
Velazquez, Descartes"

     ABSTRACT: I examine Foucault's analysis of the %episteme% of
     representation with respect to Descartes's understanding (in 
     the _Regulae_) of a universal %mathesis%, and to the 
     self-representation of representation that Foucault traces in 
     Velazquez's painting _Las Meninas_. I call into question 
     Foucault's analysis of the painting as well as the critical 
     observations of Snyder and Cohen, who take it for granted 
     that Velazquez adhered to a univocal Albertian system of
     perspective. As to Foucault, I argue that his understanding 
     (and assimilation) of vision and painting remains essentially 
     Cartesian, and that he is insufficiently attentive to the 
     materiality of painting which resists discursive 
     appropriation. Finally, I examine what a genuine 
     attentiveness to painting's materiality and to its 
     irreducibility to a theoretical exploration of vision would 
     mean for grasping the relevance of its specific order of 
     %poiesis% to postmodern thought.--vf

Allen Meek, "Guides to the Electropolis: Toward a Spectral 
Critique of the Media"

     ABSTRACT: The range of critical practices that currently 
     circulate in academic cultural studies has yet to acknowledge 
     the full scope of Derridean deconstruction. Now Derrida has 
     published for the first time an extensive meditation on Marx, 
     inviting renewed speculation about the ways that 
     deconstruction might comment on marxian theories of the 
     media. The figure of the specter, or ghost, that Derrida 
     "conjures" in his tribute to Marx guides a critique of the 
     media toward earlier encounters between marxism and 
     psychoanalysis. These include the writings of Andre Breton 
     and Walter Benjamin, recently discussed by Margaret Cohen 
     as belonging to an experimental tradition which she names 
     "Gothic Marxism."

     Like Breton and Benjamin before him, Derrida pursues a 
     poetics of haunting and mourning that pervades the texts of 
     Marx and calls for a "politics of memory" arising out of a 
     sense of responsibility toward the ghosts of our collective 
     histories. For Breton and Benjamin these included the ghosts 
     of a revolutionary tradition that haunted the emergent 
     phantasmagoria of commodity capitalism in modern Paris. 
     Derrida addresses the collapse of Soviet communism and the 
     "revolution" in global telecommunications. When placed in the 
     company of Derrida's specters, can the Surrealist experiments 
     of the 20s and 30s serve as a guide for a spectral critique 
     of electronic media? Such a critique would call into question 
     the legitimacy of the dominant technologies and ideologies of 
     representation by reconstructing, in ways that owe much to 
     psychoanalysis, their repressed histories.

     Anne Friedberg's study of cinema and shopping malls in Los 
     Angeles provides a contemporary context for considering the 
     legacies of Gothic Marxism. Like Cohen, Friedberg looks back 
     to Benjamin's Arcades Project as a model for cultural 
     studies. What is striking about the juxtaposition of these 
     two recent responses to Benjamin, however, is that in 
     Friedberg's analysis of postmodern culture we witness the 
     disappearance of those darker social forces which it would 
     be the project of Gothic Marxism to make visible.--am

Angelika Rauch, "Saving Philosophy for Cultural Studies"

     ABSTRACT: This paper establishes Kant's aesthetics as a 
     postmodern project as it expands on Kant's distinction 
     between representative image and figure. "Figure" is the 
     crucial term because it operates according to unconscious 
     law's contingent resonant with rhetorical structures. From 
     a psychoanalytic and feminist perspective, Kant's discussion 
     of "wit" and "motherwit" appeals to the formative and 
     creative nature of judgments on aesthetic experience. The 
     author's thesis is that in aesthetic judgments, imagination 
     reveals a structure of re-membrance which recreates the 
     bond with the mother's body in the contingent feeling of 
     pleasure. Taste is inherently a bodily faculty that, in 
     analogy to the power of genius, translates affect into 
     cultural images. Judgment of taste is the product of 
     hermeneutic (i.e. mental and historical) process in which 
     wit engages the cultural past in and through language to 
     produce non-mimetic linguistic representations of emotional 
     experiences: "figures" not images.--ar

Vadim Linetski, "Poststructuralist Paraesthetics and the 
Phantasy of the Reversal of Generations"

     ABSTRACT: In its critique of patriarchy and logocentrism, and 
     in its attempts to replace these with a plurality of 
     identifications, post-structuralist theory enacts the very 
     fantasy of the reversal of generations which, Freud explains, 
     underpins the Oedipus complex. By developing Freud's notion 
     of sublimation alongside both Bakhtin's notions of dialogism 
     and Ernest Jones's theory of aphanasis, this essay argues for 
     a genuinely psychoanalytic narratology that lies outside 
     logocentric thought. One important significance of this 
     argument is that it allows for an engagement with 
     constructions of feminine sexuality without recapitulating 
     an Oedipal paradigm.--gh

David Golumbia, "Hypercapital"

     ABSTRACT: As relatively egalitarian, pluralist theories of 
     hypertext (largely focusing on the medium's formal and 
     mechanical properties) have been written in the academy, 
     corporations have been shaping hypertext into a premier tool 
     of capitalist development. Like many such tools, the World 
     Wide Web is skewed toward Western ways of understanding and 
     the Western economic base. But unlike other tools of this 
     sort, the interplay between hypertext on the web and the 
     varied and burgeoning mechanisms for electronic transfer of
     capital and credit suggests a more sinister development. For 
     the distinction between the transfer of information and the 
     transfer of capital is becoming blurred in the creation of 
     what I call "hypercapital" which in certain crucial respects 
     constitute a new form of capital itself. The body of the 
     paper discusses the consequences of this blurring for liberal 
     visions of information access, for the Marxian notion of 
     circulation, and for the politics of the subject. The paper 
     follows the recent web convention of embedding links to a 
     variety of web sites, whose contents help to demonstrate the 
     imminence (and the gravity) of the developments I discuss.


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