By Alan Kirby
A daring new problem to postmodern theory
The expanding irrelevance of postmodernism calls for a brand new idea to underpin our present electronic tradition. nearly with no anyone noticing, a brand new cultural paradigm has taken middle level, displacing an exhausted and more and more marginalized postmodernism. Alan Kirby calls this cultural paradigm digimodernism, a reputation comprising either its critical technical mode and the privileging of arms and thumbs inherent in its use.
Beginning with the web (digimodernism's most crucial locus), then bearing in mind tv, cinema, computing device video games, tune, radio, etc., Kirby analyzes the emergence and implications of those various media, coloring our cultural panorama with new rules on texts and the way they paintings. This new type of textual content produces designated different types of writer and reader/viewer, which, in flip, result in altered notions of authority, ‘truth' and legitimization. With clients intervening bodily within the construction of texts, our electronically-dependent society is turning into extra eager about the grand narrative.
To make clear those traits, Kirby compares them to the contrasting traits of the previous postmodern period. In defining this new cultural age, the writer avoids either facile euphoria and pessimistic fatalism, aiming as an alternative to appreciate and thereby achieve keep watch over of a cultural mode which turns out, as if from nowhere, to have engulfed our society.
With new applied sciences unfolding virtually day-by-day, this paintings may also help to categorize and clarify our new electronic global and our position in it, in addition to equip us with a greater realizing of the electronic applied sciences that experience a major effect on our tradition.
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Extra resources for Digimodernism: How New Technologies Dismantle the Postmodern and Reconfigure Our Culture
He restores a notion of absolute truth, correctly understood: “The champions of Enlightenment are right: truth indeed exists. But so are their counter-Enlightenment critics: there is indeed truth, but it is monstrous” (109). He argues in favor too of the long-disused notion of objectivity, extolling disinterestedness (“for postmodern theory, the last word in delusion”: 134). He explores love and selffulfillment, and places questions of ethics, morality, and value at the center of his thinking. As well as reinstating issues marginalized or derided by theory, Eagleton rejects postmodern and post-structuralist antiessentialism, damningly calling it “largely the product of philosophical amateurism and ignorance” (121).
Since all of these values belong to a bourgeois world on the wane, this is rather like firing off irascible letters to the press about the horse-riding Huns or marauding Carthaginians who have taken over the Home Counties. (17) Eagleton’s sarcasm about postmodernism’s supposed incoherences and inadequacies is sustained throughout. Moreover, he sees it as indistinguishable from the exploitative and oppressive globalized capitalism that emerged in the 1980s, commenting that its “radical assault on fixed hierarchies of value merged effortlessly with that revolutionary leveling of all values known as the marketplace” (68).
Some of these writers have never shown signs of great enthusiasm for theory, like Cunningham, whose monumental British Writers of the Thirties, though published as late as 1988, is a theory-free zone. There is no rupture visible in such texts; it is all continuity, not change. Second, many of the titles of these books reflect the opportunism of their publishers. Their actual texts interpret “after” in the sense of “now that we have read theory,” not in the sense of “now that theory is dead and buried”; they evoke a reader who has absorbed theory rather than a theory that has gone stale.