The Anti-aesthetic : essays on postmodern culture …

So what is this thing The Anti-aesthetic: essays on postmodern culture - Hal Foster is a touchstone volume for postmodern debate and theory.

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The Anti-Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture (review)

Hal Foster - American Academy Aesthetic: Essays on Postmodern Culture (Bay Press), and in 1985 published his

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This paper examines the theme of liquidity in the writings of Daniil Kharms, reading his preoccupation with certain fluids — particularly wood glue, water, ink, and feminine secretions — against the background of contemporary sexuality and labor discourse. In the 1920s, Soviet thinkers had already fixated on the notion of liquidity, construing bodily fluids and energies as volatile forces that must be regulated to maximize socialist labor productivity. Such diverse figures as Aaron Zalkind and Alexei Gastev posited a zero-sum balance between the bodily energies available for labor and sex, presenting abstinence and sublimation as necessary components of the proper Soviet habitus. By the 1930s, public discourse had shifted to a biological rather than mechanical conception of socialist energetics, placing bodily fluids at the center of the imagined internal economies of Stalinist supermen. By imagining a socialist utopia lying not in the immediate, but in the indefinite future, while simultaneously insisting that the properly “revolutionary” modus operandi entailed incessant movement forward, Stalinist culture induced Soviet citizens to consent to perpetually sacrificing their mental and physical energies to socialist construction. Though Kharms’ artistic values diverged sharply from those promulgated by the stewards of official Soviet aesthetics, the philosophy he developed around his creative production is strikingly similar to the ideology undergirding Soviet labor praxis. The evolution of Kharms’ poetics from the late 1920s on parallels the emergence of a set of social practices that cast individuals as assemblages of flowing energies that needed to be disciplined to maximize their potential for labor productivity.

The anti aesthetic essays on postmodern culture.

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This paper responds to recently debated questions of “reading Dostoevsky religiously” by investigating themes of personal transformation and ego transcendence in his works. They are seen as the writer’s chief response to the crisis of modernity. Contrary to conventional wisdom that sees a uniquely Russian derivation of his religious ideas, recent studies argue that motifs of Eastern Orthodoxy are occasional, and mostly peripheral in his novels. The present essay concurs that religious ideas in Dostoevsky have a syncretic foundation, and argues that his religious themes center on the idea of authentic self, elements of which emanate from sources familiar to Dostoevsky in syncretic philosophy of German Romanticism and Neoplatonism. Instances of visionary experience, epiphany, and personal insight in Dostoevsky’s narratives posit the reality of transcendent awareness where authentic self is aligned with primary consciousness beyond the ego or apparent self. Prince Myshkin, Elder Zosima, and Alyosha Karamazov are discussed as examples of inwardly illumined characters, who typify embodiments of the authentic self revealed by insight of a numinous quality. These works and selected nonfiction writings are cited to show that the focal point of Dostoevsky’s critique of modern secular reason and so-called rational egoism is the pre-modern idea that authentic self is revealed by a moral and aesthetic vision emanating from a transcendent order of being.