In my opinion, Huyssen's dissection of the shift from modernism to postmodernism has been the most coherent and rational of all our previous readings. In contrast to other authors, Huyssen dealt with vague terms such as avantgarde and postmodernism head on. He delved deep into how these concepts have shaped our world today. Huyssen's explanation of why the avante-garde can no longer function could easily be the fate of postmodernism.
In the beginning of Origins, Lyotard is quoted as saying that "What alone could destroy capitalism was the world-wide 'drift of desire' among the young, away from libidinal investment in the system, to libidinal power," which he views as being enacted by works of art (27). But, by the end of the book, I'm seeing very little possibility for such revolutionary works of art.
What did people make of Jameson's claim, quoted on 53 of Anderson, that the only way to make 'essential mystery of the cultural past' present and urgent was to place them within a single narrative? Is the schizophrenic loss of the past a consequence of the loss of meta-narratives (something I thought Jameson claimed was itself a metanarrative) or visa versa?
This blew my mind!
Check out the article too, but this graphic really crystallizes Jameson's application of the sublime to corporate and capitalist ... morass? Hmm words are failing me today--some combo of morass-labyrinth-towersohighitblotsoutthesun. I'm sure Anderson would have a suggestion here.
Just kind of a random thought, but it seems like maybe to solve the problem of modeling some of the interpenetrating, complex, and non-cartesian spaces we've been studying, (language games, spaces of production, class structure) you could start to look at the logic behind manifolds from math/physics. I don't know all that much about them beyond that they're important in modern physics, and what it says on the Wikipedia page , so it would be very cool for someone with a more developed background in physics or math to chime in.
Re: relating Henri Bergson to Jameson and Harvey--
First of all, Jameson's identification of two related but different working definitions for postmodernism made sense of a lot of things for me. Lyotard's use of "postmodern" as "the condition of knowledge in the most highly developed societies" is all encompassing: things in current society are postmodern because everything in this age is postmodern. The state of knowledge for all is different because of changes in our world. But as Jameson says, "I am far from feeling that all cultural production today is 'postmodern' in the broad sense I will be conferring to the term".
I found Jameson's discussion on Warhol and Van Gogh particularly enlightening in illustrating the fundamentally distinct features of the modernism and postmodernism. In Van Gogh's work, we are connected to a particular moment in history; these peasant shoes are tied to the marginalized peasant, and its work is to compensate for this misery by creating a Utopia in the artwork.
(Note: this is much longer than I expected. I recommend reading the last two paragraphs and returning to the beginning if you're still interested)
The Jameson was a powerful read. Here are a few thoughts and questions, to which I'd very much love to hear some input from others.
â€¢ "...if postmodernism is the substitute for the sixties and the compensation for their political failure, the question of Utopia would seem to be a crucial test of what is left of our capacity to imagine change at all" (p. xvi).