Peter Carey's fictions explore the experiences lurking in the cracks of normality, and are inhabited by hybrid characters living in between spaces or on the margins. Carey took a circuitous route into literature and writing. Characterising Carey's stories takes us to the heart of his fictional practice. Most adopt a mixture of narrative modes, a central feature of his writing. In Carey stories, terminal societies trap characters in drive-in movie car parks, or offer the bizarre possibility of exchanging bodies, or generate a counter-revolutionary resistance movement led by fat men. Grouping the stories around themes and issues allows for a fairly comprehensive insight into Carey's shorter works, and provides some key threads for later discussions of the longer fiction. Four of the most significant areas are: American imperialism and culture; capitalism; power and authority; and gender. In Bliss, the hippy capitalists of 'War Crimes' are replaced by the more conventional scenario of hippies versus capitalists. Illywhacker examines twentieth-century Australian history with the savage humour and fantasy of the earlier fiction now placed within an epic framework. Oscar and Lucinda might be termed 'retro-speculative' fiction. The Tax Inspector is Carey's most savage novel to date, and it captures Marx's vision of the ravening effects of capital. The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith marks a return to the overt alternative world-building found in the early stories with their fantastic and fable-like scenarios. The overlap between post-modernism and post-colonialism in Carey has been investigated by a number of critics.
of theorists who have engaged in the debate over the
Marxist theory of history
nature of post-modernism. According to Jameson, the power of the argument that we inhabit a new post-modern era ‘depends on the hypothesis of
some radical break or coupure, generally traced back to the end of the 1950s
or the early 1960s’.9 While he predicates his own analysis of the transition
from modernism to post-modernism, and previously the transition from
realism to modernism, on Ernest Mandel’s periodisation of capitalism,
through its market, monopoly and multinational
rise of post-modernism in history, which grew, in part
at least, out of a rejection of Marxist materialism; while on the other hand,
the continuing dominance of naïve empiricism within mainstream historiography is reinforced by the current D.Phil culture, which, as Christopher Hill
has argued, while teaching essential skills to prospective historians comes at
the expense of generating a ‘tunnel vision’ by creating conditions where
researchers learn ‘more and more about less and less’.10 Interestingly, in their
struggle for the soul of history, both post
class as a central concern.26
Read broadly, the different methodologies employed to investigate the politics of 1848 and the spectacle of 1851 exemplify two of the most compelling
Introduction: Time’s question
approaches to the past to emerge in the twentieth century. Pairs of opposing
themes can be lined up as follows: history and culture, textual and visual,
base and superstructure, structuralism and deconstruction, modernism and
post-modernism, and we might also add local and global.27 The risk is that
a study that aspires to offer a more objective and
Chantal Akerman was one of Europe's most acclaimed and prolific contemporary directors, who came to prominence with Jeanne Dielman, 23, quai du Commerce, and 1080 Bruxelles. Her family history is intimately bound up with the horrors of the Holocaust. Akerman was born in Brussels on 6 June 1950, the first child of Jewish Polish immigrants who settled in Belgium in the late 1930s. Filmmaking, for her, was an imaginative and creative engagement with the silence that weighed heavily on her childhood. Behind the multiple guises of Akerman, this book seeks to present a cinema that crystallises questions that are at the heart of our post-war, post-Holocaust, post-feminist sensibility. It identifies the characteristics of her avant-garde work of the 1970s, the period most closely influenced by American structuralist film and performance art. The book surveys her work in the following decade in the context of post-modernism, the new aesthetic of kitsch and the emergence of a new hedonism in Western critical discourses. It is dedicated to her documentary work of the 1990s and 2000s, which sheds light on the central ethical and aesthetic concerns behind her work. The book discusses her attempts to penetrate into the mainstream, her renewed engagement with the themes of love and desire, and her further exploration of the permeable boundaries between autobiography and fiction. What emerges forcefully in Akerman's cinema, is a persistent engagement with the forms and conditions of human existence.
The most common misinterpretation of the graphic devices in Alasdair Gray's novels is that they are signifiers of postmodernist play and nothing more. Lanark: A Life in Four Books, a large and complex novel, has been included in discussions of Scottish literature, urban writing, science fiction and post-modernism. Lanark: A Life in Four Books extends its narrative to offer a full fictional biography; it does not stop with the suicide that closes Duncan Thaw's bildungsroman but continues into Lanark's adulthood and old age. Lanark is a text which is emphatically conveyed to us by the typographical unity of a book. The chapter shows that through its individual typographical conventions and exceptional visual devices Lanark unites its disjunctions and generates dynamic contextual perspectives for the reader.
This chapter outlines the major philosophical problem for Rousseau: the burden of modernity. It gives an account of Rousseau's place in the emerging world of modernity, and his opposition to secularism and scientism. It shows how his general philosophical—and theological—opposition to modernity underpinned his moral philosophy. Unlike liberal or utilitarian thinkers, Rousseau sought to base his moral judgements on emotions and sensibility, not on rational calculations. It is shown how this made him overcome the poverty of ethical theory that has characterised modernity—and how Rousseau invented post-modernism (with a pre-modern face). The chapter also contains a section on Rousseau's economic philosophy, in which it is shown that he—like Adam Smith—succeeded in transcending the economic theories of mercantilists and physiocrats. An analysis of the relationship between Rousseau and Burke is also presented. Often seen as adversaries, the chapter shows that Rousseau and Burke, in fact, were in agreement on the majority of issues, including opposition to revolutionary change, reverence for religion, and a preference for gradual reform.
German philosopher Jürgen Habermas has written extensively on the European Union.
This is the only in-depth account of his project. Published now in a second
edition to coincide with the celebration of his ninetieth birthday, a new
preface considers Habermas’s writings on the eurozone and refugee crises,
populism and Brexit, and the presidency of Emmanuel Macron. Placing an
emphasis on the conception of the EU that informs Habermas’s political
prescriptions, the book is divided into two main parts. The first considers the
unfolding of 'social modernity' at the level of the EU. Among the
subjects covered are Habermas's concept of juridification, the
latter's affinities with integration theories such as neofunctionalism, and
the application of Habermas's democratic theory to the EU. The second part
addresses 'cultural modernity' in Europe – 'Europessimism'
is argued to be a subset of the broader cultural pessimism that assailed the
project of modernity in the late twentieth century, and with renewed intensity
in the years since 9/11. Interdisciplinary in approach, this book engages
with European/EU studies, critical theory, political theory, international
relations, intellectual history, comparative literature, and philosophy. Concise
and clearly written, it will be of interest to students, scholars and
professionals with an interest in these disciplines, as well as to a broader
readership concerned with the future of Europe
Madchester may have been born at the Haçienda in the summer of 1988, but the city had been in creative ferment for almost a decade prior to the rise of Acid House. The End-of-the-Century Party is the definitive account of a generational shift in popular music and youth culture, what it meant and what it led to. First published right after the Second Summer of Love, it tells the story of the transition from New Pop to the Political Pop of the mid-1980s and its deviant offspring, Post-Political Pop. Resisting contemporary proclamations about the end of youth culture and the rise of a new, right-leaning conformism, the book draws on interviews with DJs, record company bosses, musicians, producers and fans to outline a clear transition in pop thinking, a move from an obsession with style, packaging and synthetic sounds to content, socially conscious lyrics and a new authenticity. This edition is framed by a prologue by Tara Brabazon, which asks how we can reclaim the spirit, energy and authenticity of Madchester for a post-youth, post-pop generation. It is illustrated with iconic photographs by Kevin Cummins.
The challenge of the sublime argues that the unprecedented visual inventiveness of the Romantic period in Britain could be seen as a response to theories of the sublime, more specifically to Edmund Burke’s Philosophical Enquiry into the Origin of our Ideas of the Sublime and Beautiful (1757). While it is widely accepted that the Enquiry contributed to shaping the thematics of terror that became fashionable in British art from the 1770s, this book contends that its influence was of even greater consequence, paradoxically because of Burke’s conviction that the visual arts were incapable of conveying the sublime. His argument that the sublime was beyond the reach of painting, because of the mimetic nature of visual representation, directly or indirectly incited visual artists to explore not just new themes, but also new compositional strategies and even new or undeveloped pictorial and graphic media, such as the panorama, book illustrations and capricci. More significantly, it began to call into question mimetic representational models, causing artists to reflect about the presentation of the unpresentable and the inadequacy of their endeavours, and thus drawing attention to the process of artistic production itself, rather than the finished artwork. By revisiting the links between eighteenth-century aesthetic theory and visual practices, The challenge of the sublime establishes new interdisciplinary connections which address researchers in the fields of art history, cultural studies and aesthetics.