C R A I G D O U G L A S D W O R K I N The production of aesthetic or narrative form is to be seen as an ideological act in its own right, with the function of inventing imaginary or formal "solutions" to unresolvable social contradictions. Fredric Jameson, The Political Unconscious Quoniam mihi quidem alia adhuc via non patet istud praestandi, nisi per imaginaria ` procedendo, formulam ÷`1 littera i in posterum designabo. [Since the only way to make any progress has been by proceeding along an imaginary path, I henceforth designate the negative square root with the letter i.] Leonhard Euler, Institutionum calculi integralis "F rom the modernism you want," quipped David Antin, "you get the postmodernism you deserve."1 True enough, as the last quarter century has shown; Antin's dynamic nicely encapsulates the logic of canons, in which interventions resonate both forward and backward, as lineage and precedent adjust to accommodate and account for apparent ruptures or discontinuities. But Antin's instant proverb is also a good reminder that whatever the dominant canon might be--whatever it is that comes to mind at the thought of "modernism" or "postmodFor opportunities to present and discuss
Contemporary Literature – University of Wisconsin Press
Published: May 14, 2007
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