It was very interesting to see Anderson's discussion of the arc of Lyotard's work, and I felt that it helped put a few things in perspective for me. Upon going back and looking closely at his essay with the aim of comparing his ideas to those of later writers, I read a few things into his essay that I hadn't previously. Primarily, what was of interest to me this time around was his take on history, and the impact upon it of the loss of hierarchy within language games.
Very quick post: I found Anderson's discussions on art to be one of the more worthwhile sections of _Origins_, outlining the after effects of Jameson's "capture" of postmodernity on the art world (or just approaches to art in the seventies and on)--new topics to our class/me. I found his description of the citra vs. ultra approaches after the crisis of postmodernity particularly interesting and I keep refering back to it, trying to place certain artists (especially contemporary ones and the ones A. offers) within this dichotomy with varying success...
Anderson discusses the postwar boom when the division of aestheticism and economics was at its greatest. This is when Jameson began to produce his works, and Anderson describes this as "the greatest aesthetic tradition" (125). However, Anderson goes on to explain how the two notions of aesthetics and economics were slowly reunited again, or particularly how economy progressed into being seen as an internal component of aesthetics itself (126).
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.
Which is more postmodern?
"The painter is in principle that only fully independent producer, who as a rule needs no further intermediation to realize a work of art." (p.94)
"Television, which was so decisive in the passage to a new epoch, has no modernist past. It became the most powerful medium of all in the postmodern period itself." (p.122)
"Postmodernism is the cultural logic of a capitalism not embattled, but complacent beyond precedent. Resistance can only start by staring down this order as it is." (p.118)
I have a hard time locating where postmodernism stands in terms of its relation to society at large. I have been reading postmodern theory as an alternate to capitalism, but, as anonymous stated in his/her* blog, postmodern theory is a theory of the inevitable rise of the proletariat and the ideas that will accompany the revolution (if I read the post right). So would is the following thought logical:
Can someone gloss the movement from 'unrepeatable genius' (Anderson, 93) and 'great individual signatures and master-works...[and] norms of charisma' (Anderson, 63) to the postmodern alternative (whatever that is)? I have a very stupid reading of it - 'Geniuses have gone extinct!' - and an equally stupid refutation, which basically involves providing examples of authors and artists and directors that I think of as geniuses. I understand that more is going on there, but the above reading/refutation is just a kneejerk that I deliver every time an author touches on the 'genius question.'
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?
I was interested in Anderson's discussion of Lyotard's pre-Postmodern Condition turn away from structural Marxism toward an analysis of systemic manipulations of libidinal drives and erotic enjoyment.
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.