Friday, January 7th, 2005
I hadn’t caught this newest post over at Jesse Abbot. Professor Abbot is one of the tightest writers I know and he negociates the circles with crisp and luminous fingertips:
In the last decades of the Twentieth Century, Postmodernism accentuated all of the discoveries that Modernism made (in the face of contemporary fears and stressors) regarding relativism and the reality of multiple subjectivities and yet lost the inner value of these finds in a pit of nihilism. Nihilism mistakenly identifies the Dream and the Machine as one entity and unfolding process, as two poles cut from the same cloth, subatomic particles, or what have you. It fails to see the necessary dance between the two with the Dream leading that sustains concrete historical possibilities.
Helping to further the work of literature in its mission of promoting human survival and beyond that, nurturing the meaning of what it is to be human is our work.
I’d like to hear more about this issue of dreaming.
And thanks for the Ersinghaus post.
Nevertheless, I wonder if Jesse is a little rough on postmodernism by calling upon the metaphor of “the pit”? Is this not a matter of a particular priority given a point of view or world view. That is, I could create a monolith made of raised smudges and call it The Faces of Homer, a minimal sculpture that asks a question of the viewer,and leave it at that. Perhaps the question is: in postmodernism, who is the nihilist? Or better who are the postmodernists? Have we not seen Blake walking the streets with his bother Bonaventure at his side?