Overview

Applying Jean Baudrillard's question "What are you doing after the orgy?" to the postmillennial climate that informs our contemporary cultural moment, this book argues that the imagination of apocalyptic endings has been an obsessive theme in post-Enlightenment culture. Dominic Pettman identifies and examines the dynamic tensions of various apocalyptic discourses, from the fin-de-siècle decadents of the 1890s to the fin-de-millènnium cyberpunks of the 1990s, in order to highlight the complex constellation of ...
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After the Orgy

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Overview

Applying Jean Baudrillard's question "What are you doing after the orgy?" to the postmillennial climate that informs our contemporary cultural moment, this book argues that the imagination of apocalyptic endings has been an obsessive theme in post-Enlightenment culture. Dominic Pettman identifies and examines the dynamic tensions of various apocalyptic discourses, from the fin-de-siècle decadents of the 1890s to the fin-de-millènnium cyberpunks of the 1990s, in order to highlight the complex constellation of exhaustion, anticipation, panic, and ecstasy in contemporary culture. Through analyses of rapturous cults, cyberpunk literature, post-apocalyptic cinema, techno-paganism, death fashion, and the Y2K prophecy, After the Orgy explores why the twentieth century swung so violently between the poles of anticipation and anticlimax. In the process, the book raises pressing questions concerning the relevance of such ideas in our new millennium and points out alternatives to the monotonous horror of traditional narratives.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
Thoughtful, wide-ranging, and eloquently written ... After the Orgy cannot be reduced to any single simplistic thesis, and this is one of its major strengths. It acknowledges and affirms complexity, and yet it presents this complexity in a compellingly clear manner. In short, Pettman is a fine critic, both in terms of breadth of reference and understanding, and in terms of subtlety and thought.— Steven Shaviro, author of Doom Patrols: A Theoretical Fiction About Postmodernism

"The range of cultural and textual readings offered here are complemented by Pettman's talent for telling a 'story.' Instead of laboring through a dry interpretation of millennial practices, I listened to a fine storyteller interpret and draw attention to important practices taking place at the present."— Todd F. Davis, coeditor of Mapping the Ethical Turn: A Reader in Ethics, Culture, and Literary Theory
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791488492
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 9/18/2009
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • File size: 574 KB

Meet the Author

Dominic Pettman is Assistant Professor of New Media at the University of Amsterdam.

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Table of Contents

Preface
Acknowledgments
Introduction: After the Orgy 1
1 Panic Merchants: Prophecy and the Satyr 25
The Goat in the Machine 31
2 The Rapture of Rupture 37
Sade and the Death of God 40
Avoiding the Void 42
Eroticism and the Thanatic Asymptote 48
Nietzsche's Dionysus 52
Nihilism and the Thirst for Annihilation 57
3 The Virtual Apocalypse 63
Virilio's Accident 67
Bacchanical Man and Ballard's Crash 71
Technol-orgy: From Autogeddon to Infocalypse 78
Snow Crash and Scopophilia 82
Cyborgies in the Dionysian Landscape 88
Carmageddon 97
4 Decaying Forward: Satiety and Society 99
De-fragging the Self 106
Technologies of the Flesh 110
5 Cosmic Architects 117
Immaculate Contraception 120
Sexless Hydrogen: The Frisson of Fission 124
Dionysus in '69 130
The Politics of Play 137
6 Playing at Catastrophe 141
Pret-a-Mort: Necrophilia and Death Fashion 141
Close Encounters of the Third Kind: The Joachite Structure of Baudrillard's Philosophy 144
"A Biocybernetic Self-Fulfilling Prophecy World Orgy I": or Surviving the Necropolis 152
Temporary Autonomous Zones and the Archaic Revival 157
Civilization and Its Discotheques 162
After the Orgy (But Before the Test Results) 168
Conclusion: The Revelation Will not be Televised 171
Notes 183
Works Cited 187
Index 199
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