There’s Plenty of Room at the Hotel Bonaventure

February 7, 2007


On page 1961 Jameson writes, “most postmodernisms mentioned above emerge as specific reactions against the established forms of high modernism.”  I sort of related this to what Derrida was going for, in that Derrida said there could not be a definite structure.  Jameson is saying that there is not set modernism, which is part of the reason why postmodernism is so difficult to define.

I understood the differences he gave between parody and pastiche.  And how it is impossible to have pastiche if language were to become heterogeneous because the basic concept of pastiche as well as parody is to play off the common and widely known norms.  And if everything were to become individualized and too specific, parody and pastiche would not be able to exist.

You have to admire any theorist who would make the decision to use Star Wars as a reference point in helping to explain his ideas.  I have to say it did help to explain the nostalgia mode.

Then we get to the Bonaventure Hotel.  This was a bit tricky, and I am going to need escalators and elevators explained a little more.  But other than that, I think I understand most of it.  When Jameson, on page 1968, writes, “the Bonaventure aspires to being a total space, a complete world, a kind of miniature city” and continues on page 1969 with “ought not to have entrances at all, since the entryway is always the seam that links the building to the rest of the city that surrounds it: for it does not wish to be a part of the city, but rather its equivalent and its replacement or substitute.  That is however, obviously not possible or practical.”  What I took from that is postmodernism would like to be its own separate entity with no connections anything else (it’s own complete world with no doors)  However, that is not possible. 

Also, when he writes on the “glass skin” on page 1969, “it is not even an exterior, inasmuch as when you seek to look at the hotel’s outer walls you cannot see the hotel itself, but only the distorted images of everything that surrounds it”  What I took from that is postmodernism does not have an “inside” to look at, it draws everything from what surrounds it and bases all off that.

Finally, I agreed with what he wrote on page 1974: “One is tempted to say that the very function of the news media is to relegate such recent historical experiences as rapidly as possible into the past”  It does seem that the news tends to find a particular story or two and will focus on them for a little while, but as soon as something new and better comes along,  the first story is long forgotten and pushed into the past.


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