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 kinds, yet mostly 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 feel that neoliberalism's capacious grab on modern language and discourse-its skill to manage each side of a conceptual debate or argument-has made it approximately very unlikely to put in writing past neoliberalism's grip. this is often fairly distressing for authors invested in modern politics as neoliberalism renders any variety of political difficulties circularly undecidable.0Taking up 4 assorted 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 avoid 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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Extra info for After critique. Twenty-first-century fiction in a neoliberal age
They never overlap; they are purified of each other. The free neoliberal subject’s value derives from its opposition to any potential objectivity (“I’m so much more than data”); and the neoliberal object’s value derives from its opposition to any potential subjectivity (the analytical “insight” derived from the mushiness of “social chatter, reviews, and sales transactions”). While we experience these subjective and objective representations of the human as mutually exclusive, however, the advertisements reveal that neoliberalism’s potency stems from its simultaneous claim on both, from what I described before as neoliberalism’s granular intrusion into all domains of human experience.
After all, it’s that hybrid ontology that allows each link in a chain of circulating reference to connect to its preceding and Introduction 27 succeeding links even as it does not require those links to resemble each other representationally. Instead, the succeeding link in the chain lends its own ontological heft, its own position in the social configuration, to the preceding link. New contexts and alliances are established as the initial link connects forward to the ensuing one. Some of the things that were unclear or underdeveloped in the original thing are given shape and voice in the new thing.
Consequently, rather than approaching neoliberalism as a normative program with representational and ideological stakes, After Critique recommends a more ontological strategy. If we accept the shift from normative to serial culture that Foucault, Cherniavsky, and Barnett each describe, then surely our tactical responses to and Introduction 19 strategic engagements with neoliberalism must also move from the critical to the ontological. Rather than engaging neoliberalism through the critical discursive terrain that it has already captured, why not develop procedures and techniques that adopt its more serialized and networked formulations of meaning and value?
After critique. Twenty-first-century fiction in a neoliberal age by Mitchum Huehls