Christian Moraru's new book on postmodernism zeroes in on postmodern representation, which the critic seizes as a literary and cultural memory receptacle - as 'memorious discourse'. He argues that, counter to the orthodoxies that have taken hold in postmodern studies, postmodernism is not ahistorical, without cultural memory, or politically apathetic. With a wink at Borges's short story 'Funes the Memorious', he contends that this kind of representation cannot but operate digressively, and conspicuously so, through other representations, and is a picture that must latch onto other pictures to bring its object to life. While other types of discourse cover up, gloss over, or play down what they have borrowed - and therefore owe - the postmodern eagerly acknowledges its textual and cultural debt. Moreover, it turns this indebtedness into an unexpected source of creativity and originality . In his wide-ranging discussion of contemporary writers and theorists, Moraru notes that postmodernism characteristically re-presents. That is, it actively 'remembers' and, to use a musical term, 'reprises' former representations. These need not be infinite in number, as in Borges, but must be and usually are retrieved with sufficient obviousness. Memorious Discourse is organized into a largely theoretical prologue, five chapters, and an epilogue. The chapters mark off as many areas in recent Continental and American theory and narrative where the discourse apparatus, workings, and individualizing problems of postmodern representation come to light and lend themselves to rethinking through the Borgesian-inspired critical metaphor. To gauge the scope of memorious discourse, Moraru examines theoretical and narrative models developed by such writers and critics as Vladimir Nabokov, Thomas Pynchon, Don DeLillo, Joseph McElroy, Paul Auster, Kathy Acker, Toni Morrison, Philip Roth, William Gibson, Mark Leyner, David Antin, Emmanuel Levinas, Jean-Francois Lyotard, Jean Baudrillard, Michel Foucault, Jean-Luc Nancy, Philippe
|Publisher:||Fairleigh Dickinson University Press|
|Product dimensions:||6.30(w) x 9.20(h) x 0.90(d)|
About the Author
Christian Moraru is associate professor and director of graduate studies in English at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro.