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 varieties, yet ordinarily 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 experience that neoliberalism's capacious seize on modern language and discourse-its skill to manage either side of a conceptual debate or argument-has made it approximately very unlikely to jot down past neoliberalism's grip. this is often relatively distressing for authors invested in modern politics as neoliberalism renders any variety of political difficulties circularly undecidable.0Taking up 4 various political themes-human rights, the relation among private and non-private house, racial justice, and environmentalism-After Critique means that the ontological kinds rising in modern U.S. fiction articulate a model of politics that would effectively dodge 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
Jefferson, which declared that public school districts could not consider students’ race when assigning them to schools, even if doing so mitigated racial segregation in the district. The Jefferson County school district in Kentucky was once segregated by law, but various forms of affirmative action and school bussing programs redressed the situation by the end of the twentieth century. Since then, the schools resegregated, but the majority opinion maintained that the school districts could not undo the segregation with race-based school assignments because this more recent round of segregation was merely de facto.
To be clear, this is a tactical wager. The question is not, Which view of things—the normative or the post-normative—is actually true? 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?
From this perspective, understanding a text entails separating those features that are essential to its existence from those that are not. ” (“Well-Wrought” 202). To be frank, this strikes me as rather bizarre—a task that perhaps only a philosopher could love. Moreover, in his effort to undo the ontologically privileged status of literary representation, Harman unnecessarily abandons the question of literary significance and value altogether. A third approach to thinking literary ontology, however, understands that literature still produces value even after it abandons a strictly representational logic.
After critique. Twenty-first-century fiction in a neoliberal age by Mitchum Huehls