By Mitchum Huehls
After critique' identifies an ontological flip in modern U.S. fiction that distinguishes our present literary second from either postmodernism and so-called post-postmodernism. This flip to ontology takes many varieties, yet ordinarily After Critique highlights a physique of literature-work from Colson Whitehead, Uzodinma Iweala, Karen Yamasthia, Helena Viramontes, Percival Everett, Mat Johnson, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Tom McCarthy-that favors presence over absence, being over that means, and connection over reference. those authors' curiosity in generating literary worth ontologically instead of representationally stems from their feel that neoliberalism's capacious clutch on modern language and discourse-its skill to manage each side of a conceptual debate or argument-has made it approximately very unlikely to put in writing past neoliberalism's grip. this can be fairly distressing for authors invested in modern politics as neoliberalism renders any variety of political difficulties circularly undecidable.0Taking up 4 varied political themes-human rights, the relation among private and non-private house, racial justice, and environmentalism-After Critique means that the ontological types rising in modern U.S. fiction articulate a model of politics that would effectively stay away from neoliberal appropriation. this can be a politics which replaces critique and its reliance on illustration with ontology and its ever-shifting configurations and assemblages. Read more...
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Extra info for After critique. Twenty-first-century fiction in a neoliberal age
As Lash explains: [L]ate-modern culture, quite rightly understood in terms of “the media,” can never represent without sending, without transmitting or communicating. Indeed, contemporary “economies of signs and space,” especially in their capacity as information, have a lot more to do with transmission than with representation. That is, in contemporary culture the primacy of transmission has displaced the primacy of representation. Contemporary culture is thus a culture of movement. (276) Echoing Cherniavsky’s serial culture of “movements and affiliations,” Lash’s description helps us understand that even as neoliberalism’s ontologized culture is one of rapid movement and interconnection, it’s also not a culture of immanent flow.
Instead, the succeeding link in the chain lends its own ontological heft, its own position in the social configuration, to the preceding link. New contexts and alliances are established as the initial link connects forward to the ensuing one. Some of the things that were unclear or underdeveloped in the original thing are given shape and voice in the new thing. Ideas, concepts, and values previously excluded from the world find themselves increasingly included. Value becomes a function of position and place, connection and transmission.
All we can do right now is pay witness” (233). More than mere representation, Quiet Storm’s text is a transmission that alters the landscape rather than just referring to it. Like the zombies whose “inhuman 28 After Critique scroll” argues loudly for their presence, for their inclusion in the city, the non-referential language of this auto text speaks the fact of its own existence, translating Quiet Storm forward and linking her to the things her text comprises as well as to those who encounter it.