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 types, yet typically 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 price ontologically instead of representationally stems from their experience that neoliberalism's capacious seize on modern language and discourse-its skill to manage either side of a conceptual debate or argument-has made it approximately most unlikely to write down past neoliberalism's grip. this is often relatively distressing for authors invested in modern politics as neoliberalism renders any variety of political difficulties circularly undecidable.0Taking up 4 assorted political themes-human rights, the relation among private and non-private house, racial justice, and environmentalism-After Critique means that the ontological kinds rising in modern U.S. fiction articulate a model of politics that will effectively avoid 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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Additional resources for After critique. Twenty-first-century fiction in a neoliberal age
As long as neoliberalism’s subjective and objective representations of the human remain distinct, we feel comfortable and confident inhabiting either role, although little is gained from doing so. The only truth that those representations consistently articulate is the abiding truth of market rationality: neoliberalism is always right. We cannot challenge the economization of everyday life by championing the non-quantifiable humanistic values that neoliberalism threatens to destroy because neoliberalism champions non-quantifiable humanistic values too.
And I’m so much more than data. When I’m in your store, do I feel at home? 8 Even as both advertisements suggest that we are not the sum total of our data, that we are uniquely individuated subjects irreducible to demographics, they also signal to IBM’s potential customers in the corporate sector that IBM’s best algorithms and computer technologies can deliver ideal neoliberal consumers, measurable and quantifiable cogs in the market machinery. This vacillation between subjective and objective representations of the human defines neoliberal discourse.
Things behave as signs to link themselves forward to other things in the world, which might in turn link themselves forward by functioning as signs as well. Thus, in lieu of poststructuralism’s chain of signifiers born from the unbridgeable abyss between signs and things, Latour sees a series of translations (Lash’s transmissions) producing a chain of things connected by each link’s double nature as thing and sign. This requires treating the same object first as a concrete piece of matter (a thing), next as an abstract form (a sign), and then once again as concrete matter: [A]t every stage, each element belongs to matter by its origin and to form by its destination; it is abstracted from a too-concrete domain before it becomes, at the next stage, too concrete again.