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 kinds, yet quite 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 which means, and connection over reference. those authors' curiosity in generating literary price ontologically instead of representationally stems from their feel that neoliberalism's capacious take hold of on modern language and discourse-its skill to regulate each side of a conceptual debate or argument-has made it approximately very unlikely to jot down past neoliberalism's grip. this is often 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 steer clear of 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 info for After critique. Twenty-first-century fiction in a neoliberal age
In particular, it unnecessarily seals off texts, treating them like stones thrown into a river. How, then, might an ontological approach to literature account for a text’s more literary features? Can it tell us anything about literature’s language, figures, and forms? As this is one of After Critique’s grounding questions, the ensuing chapters will introduce an array of examples that detail the ontological production of literary value. To lay some foundation for those forthcoming discussions, however, I’d like to dwell for a moment on Introduction 25 one of Harman’s more useful insights about literary ontology: “The literal and the nonliteral cannot be apportioned between separate zones of reality, but are two distinct sides of every point in the cosmos” (“Well-Wrought” 190).
We might understand this approach as a scaled-up version of what Foucault describes as “arts of existence”—practices and actions that reconfigure one’s “singular being,” not one’s thinking. It’s an approach that analyzes “not behaviors or ideas, nor societies and their ‘ideologies,’ but the problematizations through which being offers itself to be, necessarily, thought—and the practices on the basis of which these problematizations are formed” (Use 11). In other words, change requires an intervention in ontology’s conditions of possibility, its configuration and arrangement, not in its already existing features and characteristics.
As this is one of After Critique’s grounding questions, the ensuing chapters will introduce an array of examples that detail the ontological production of literary value. To lay some foundation for those forthcoming discussions, however, I’d like to dwell for a moment on Introduction 25 one of Harman’s more useful insights about literary ontology: “The literal and the nonliteral cannot be apportioned between separate zones of reality, but are two distinct sides of every point in the cosmos” (“Well-Wrought” 190).