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 often 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 take hold of on modern language and discourse-its skill to regulate either side of a conceptual debate or argument-has made it approximately most unlikely to put in writing past neoliberalism's grip. this can be really 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 varieties rising in modern U.S. fiction articulate a model of politics that will effectively avoid neoliberal appropriation. it is 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 I explained above, they are both true at the same time, but our predilection for critique, for the purified relation between subject and object, has led us to ignore the post-normative features of neoliberalism. A better question is, Which approach will be most helpful given the impasse in critical representation that the neoliberal circle exploits and exacerbates? And I think recent contemporary fiction, with its turn away from critique, has been asking the same question and similarly concluding that we can no longer afford to approach neoliberalism as a representational problem, as an ideological vision of the world requiring our critical engagement.
The representational arts would not be obsolete, but they would presumably have to produce meaning and value in some other, less representational way. Or, their representational significance would not be primarily grounded in their referential capabilities—that is, in the way they speak of and point to the world. 21 So where might value come from when representation is treated ontologically, particularly when its ontology is not afforded any privileged status as representation? Literary scholars have begun answering this question in at least three different ways.
Another commercial in the same campaign reveals a savvy young woman performing various transactions on her phone and tablet while viewers see her words directed to some hypothetical company: “Do you know me? Not my demographic. Not my type, my segment, or my profile. Me. Because the better you know me, the more ways you’ll find to make me happy. 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.
After critique. Twenty-first-century fiction in a neoliberal age by Mitchum Huehls