By Andreas Huyssen
"One of the main accomplished and clever postmodern critics of artwork and literature, Huyssen collects right here a chain of his essays on pomo... " —Village Voice Literary Supplement
"... his paintings continues to be alert to the difficult courting acquiring among marxisms and poststructuralisms." —American Literary History
"... hard and astute." —World Literature Today
"Huyssen's level-headed account of this debatable constellation of severe voices brings welcome explanation to today's murky haze of cultural dialogue and proves definitively that remark from the culture of the German Left has an essential function to play in modern criticism." —The German Quarterly
"... we'll definitely have, after interpreting this booklet, a deeper realizing of the forces that experience led as much as the current and of the probabilities nonetheless open to us." —Critical Texts
"... a wealthy, multifaceted study." —The Year's paintings in English Studies
Huyssen argues that postmodernism can't be considered as an intensive holiday with the previous, because it is deeply indebted to that different development in the tradition of modernity—the old avant-garde.
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Extra resources for After the Great Divide: Modernism, Mass Culture, Postmodernism (Theories of Representation and Difference)
Writers such as Schlosser and Jacobi put themselves outside of the community of human beings by considering themselves as privileged, as an elite, and in possession of some mysterious secret which they alone are able to reveal (TA, 28-29). These authors confront the "voice of reason" with the "voice of an oracle" (TA, 30). They believe that work is useless in philosophy and that it would suffice to lend an ear to an oracle inside oneself (TA, 32). Borrowing the revelatory vocabulary used by his adversaries, Kant characterizes them as "approaching the goddess of wisdom so closely that they perceive the rustling of her robe," or as "making the veil of Isis so thin that one can surmise under it the goddess" (TA,44)· Without pointing it out continuously, Derrida indicates sufficiently that what Kant has to say about the "mystagogues" and the death of philosophy in~his time can easily be applied to our contemporary writers on postmodernity.
Not until late in the eighteenth century did the ideas of progression and perfectibility enter the aesthetic domain. With regard to the historical status of the sciences and the arts, the realms of reason and imagination, European classicism and the Enlightenment show a characteristic antagonism. The sciences appeared to be involved in an interminable progression, whereas the arts were thought of as always returning in cyclical motion to that position of correct standards and appropriate norms from which they had departed in periods of decay and barbarism.
As one can easily realize, all decisive features of the new concept of poetry are intimately related to the notion of infinite perfectibility: the view of poetry as a creative instead of an imitative expression, the poet's genius and imagination, and the suspension of a hierarchical system of genres for the sake of a historically changing and developing one. Even the reader's act of understanding literature 3. Encyclopedie ou dictionnaire raisonne des Sciences, des Arts et des Metiers, par une Societe de Gens de Lettres (Geneva: Pellet, 1777), vol.