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.It is this eruption of thepopular into the realm of high art that, Jameson thinks, most upsetsacademics (read: Habermas or Hassan) who oppose the waypostmodernism has developed.This is perhaps the most distressing development of all from an academicstandpoint, which has traditionally had a vested interest in preserving a realmof high or elite culture against the surrounding environment of philistinism, ofschlock and kitsch, of TV series and Reader s Digest culture.but many ofthe newer postmodernisms have been fascinated precisely by that wholelandscape of advertising and motels, of the Las Vegas strip, of the Late Showand B-grade Hollywood film, of so-called paraliterature with its airportpaperback categories of the gothic and the romance, the popular biography,the murder mystery and the science fiction or fantasy novel.They no longer quote such  texts as a Joyce might have done, or a Mahler; they incorporatethem, to the point where the line between high art and commercial formsseems increasingly difficult to draw.(CT: 2)Jameson goes on in  Postmodernism and Consumer Society to analyseexactly what this  postmodernism constitutes, stressing that for him  itis not just another word for the description of a particular style , it is also a periodizing concept which correlates to  a new type of social life anda new economic order  what is often euphemistically calledmodernization, post-industrial or consumer society, the society of themedia or the spectacle, or multinational capitalism (CT: 3).POSTMODERNISM, OR THE CULTURAL LOGIC OFLATE CAPITALISMThe original  Postmodernism and Consumer Society essay limited itselfto describing  only two of [postmodernism s] significant features whichJameson called  pastiche and schizophrenia (CT: 3).With theenlargement of the essay to the piece that was published in New LeftReview (and which is reprinted as the first chapter of Postmodernism) theanalysis is considerably expanded, to dwell on  the following constitu- tive features of the postmodern (P: 6).Jameson sees as postmodern  anew depthlessness, which finds its prolongation both in contemporary theory and in a whole new culture of the image or the simulacrum aswell as a  weakening of historicity, both in our relationship to publicHistory and in the new forms of our private temporality.Postmodernculture exhibits  a whole new type of emotional ground tone (Jamesonrefers to this as  intensities ).He also identifies  the deep constitutiverelationships of all this as grounded in  a whole new technology, whichis itself a figure for a whole new economic world system.This is a lot to take on board of a sudden, but it can be described easilyenough as an elaboration of these two categories  schizophrenia and pastiche.In turn, these manifest a shift away from time and towardsspace as the dominant mode of structuring cultural experience: sight, themost distant of the senses, becomes  supreme.SCHIZOPHRENIAThis term, which crops up frequently in discussions of the postmodern,does not invoke the traditional psychiatric-clinical definition, where schizo-phrenia is a distressing delusional state characterised by loss of internalrelation with one s own mental process, such that thoughts and impulsesare thought to derive from  voices or  visions external to the mind, with aresulting apathy, eccentricity and isolation.Jameson uses the phrase asa shorthand, via Lacan, to be specifically opposed to paranoia.Clinically, paranoid individuals see the world around them as a giant conspiracy,centred on themselves  perhaps in the form of  everybody is out to perse-cute me.Lacan used the term in a more theoretical sense: as he puts it,in a manner of speaking, all of us are paranoid.Our only way of appre-hending the universe around us is to construct an  I , an ego, aroundwhich we orient all our knowledge.For some critics, the  paranoid modelcan be thought of as modernist: a text such as Ulysses follows the ordinaryday of an ordinary Dubliner, but everything that happens in the novel isrelated to a secret grand design, whereby the ordinary Leopold Bloom is onanother level the heroic Greek Odysseus.In place of this closed pattern,postmodernism can be thought of as an opening up, a breaking down of tiednarratives.Instead of relating the ego to one grand narrative, the  schizo-phrenic in this mode opens him or herself to a multiplicity of inputs, all onPOSTMODERNI SM 123 124 KEY I DEASthe same level as the ego.Lacanian schizophrenia represents  a breakdownin the signifying chain (P: 26).The term is particularly associated with theEuropean theorists Deleuze and Guattari, whose Anti-Oedipus (1983) cele-brates the potential of this schizophrenic model in characteristically floridterms:taking a stroll outdoors.he is in the mountains, amid falling snowflakes, withother gods or without any gods at all, without a family, without a father or amother.everything is a machine.Celestial machines, the stars or rainbows inthe sky.alpine machines  all of them connected to those of his body.The contin-ual whirr of machines.The point here is, as Jameson says, when schizophrenia  becomes general-ized as a cultural style it loses the  morbid content it would possess as anindividual pathology and  becomes available for more joyous intensities (P:29).The postmodern subject for Jameson, determined as ever by socialcircumstance, necessarily reflects the increasing reification andfragmentation of late capitalism.We witness, he says,  the end of thebourgeois ego in the sense of a unified ego-construction; in its placepeople s sense of their own subjectivity is much less centred or focused.Moreover this release from  the centred subject involves  not merely aliberation from anxiety but a liberation from every other kind of feelingas well, since there is no longer a self present to do the feeling (P:15).This is a radical thesis indeed; not that people like you or I areincapable of feeling anything, but that there has more generally beenwhat Jameson, in a famous phrase, calls a  waning of the affect (P: 10),a fading-away of emotional content.Postmodern art is characterised byirony and cynicism, by a modish detachment from feeling anything because, Jameson thinks, we no longer have the sort of subject that is verygood at feeling.This has many consequences: we regularly see movies,for instance, which are enormously violent, enormously sexuallyexplicit, without finding ourselves much moved by either, although ourgrandparents generation found much milder representations of thesethings quite unacceptable on the screen, or anywhere else.We arealienated, in a manner of speaking, from our own emotions too: it becomes impossible to say a phrase like  I love you madly with a straightface (this example derives from Umberto Eco); we need to fall back ondistancing tactics that foreground our self-awareness, and say insteadsomething like  as Barbara Cartland would say,  I love you madly  [ Pobierz całość w formacie PDF ]