Lyotard

September 15, 2007

I tried to look up what exactly the Bauhaus project was (71) but Google only gave me stuff on some software programming.  And I’m pretty sure Lyotard wasn’t talking about C++ when he wrote this.  Moving on, “I have read in a French weekly that some are displeased with Mile Plateaux [by Deleuze and Guattari]”  After having to read about rhizomes last year, I was pretty displeased with those guys too.

On page 74 Lyotard writes, “But capitalism inherently possesses the power to derealize familiar objects, social rules, and institutions to such a degree that the so-called realistic representations can no longer evoke reality except  as nostalgia or mockery, as an occasion for suffering rather than for satisfaction.”  This harkens to another theory throwback, Baudrillard.  One of Baudrillard’s favorite words was hyperreailty, a state where the real doesn’t have any meaning, making it not so real anymore, and it seems like that is what Lyotard is describing in this passage.  I caught another Baudrillard-ian tidbit on page 77, “Modernity, in whatever age it appears, cannot exist without a shattering of belief and without discovery of the ‘lack of reality’  of reality, together with the invention of other realities.”  

On page 79 he writes, “A work can become modern only if it is first postmodern.”  After reading that, I was left feeling like I was the first time I read that the center wasn’t the center  at all.  According to what Lyotard writes on page 81, that works which are considered postmodern, are postmodern because they “are not in principle governed by preestablished rules, and they cannot be judged according to a determining judgment”  It would appear that with postmodernism there are no rules and no guidelines by which to critique anything which is or may be postmodern.     

“Finally,it must be clear that it is our business not to supply reality but to invent allusions to the conceivable which cannot be presented.”  (81)  From this I get that it is not the job of postmodernism to come up with anything new, but instead make allusions to what was once new.  A lot of what I wrote didn’t make much sense, and I’m looking forward to moving on to Fight Club.

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One Response to “Lyotard”

  1. Marina said

    Hi Ryan,

    That quote on capitalism caught my attention when I read that essay as well. I on the other hand didn’t quite make the connection to Baudrillard, unfortunately…but I think you may have cleared it up a bit for me. 🙂 After going back and reading the paragraph with that quote in it I can really see the connection with the hyperreality. I think I need a little more explaining on the issue of capitalism and how it all connects to the rest of Lyotard’s essay though…I can, however, see how it has a great connection to Fight Club.

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