Traumatic Postmodern Histories: Velvet Goldmine's Phantasmatic Testimonies

Traumatic Postmodern Histories: Velvet Goldmine's Phantasmatic Testimonies • Camera Obscura modernity in part as a loss of faith in master narratives, utopian teleologies of history; yet within this conceptualization, the consciousness of the loss of history can itself be an historical form of consciousness.1 If the post of postmodernity marks a rupture with modernity, a historical break or coupure, then this distance might at least allow us to be able to understand and represent the past from a secure vantage point. But if this post is no simple break and does not imply chronological succession or even distance, then postmodernity cannot offer a position from which to represent modernity and provides little epistemological leverage. Rather than being a loss of history or a specific position in history, this postmodernity, as Fredric Jameson suggests, names a difficulty in locating ourselves with respect to history. After all, the nostalgic cinematic mode retro, an approach to “the ‘past’ through stylistic connotation, conveying ‘pastness’ by the glossy qualities of the image,” and the tendency toward pastiche — a jumble of historical styles that Jameson identifies as central for the postmodern aesthetic — seem to suggest as much.2 If, however, we were to understand this postmodern historical consciousness as itself http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Camera Obscura Duke University Press

Traumatic Postmodern Histories: Velvet Goldmine's Phantasmatic Testimonies

Camera Obscura, Volume 19 (3 57) – Jan 1, 2004

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Publisher
Duke University Press
Copyright
Copyright 2004 by Camera Obscura
ISSN
1529-1510
eISSN
1529-1510
DOI
10.1215/02705346-19-3_57-157
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

• Camera Obscura modernity in part as a loss of faith in master narratives, utopian teleologies of history; yet within this conceptualization, the consciousness of the loss of history can itself be an historical form of consciousness.1 If the post of postmodernity marks a rupture with modernity, a historical break or coupure, then this distance might at least allow us to be able to understand and represent the past from a secure vantage point. But if this post is no simple break and does not imply chronological succession or even distance, then postmodernity cannot offer a position from which to represent modernity and provides little epistemological leverage. Rather than being a loss of history or a specific position in history, this postmodernity, as Fredric Jameson suggests, names a difficulty in locating ourselves with respect to history. After all, the nostalgic cinematic mode retro, an approach to “the ‘past’ through stylistic connotation, conveying ‘pastness’ by the glossy qualities of the image,” and the tendency toward pastiche — a jumble of historical styles that Jameson identifies as central for the postmodern aesthetic — seem to suggest as much.2 If, however, we were to understand this postmodern historical consciousness as itself

Journal

Camera ObscuraDuke University Press

Published: Jan 1, 2004

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