The fateful question for our time is what comes after post-modernism, what comes after the after? Building upon the insight of Thomas Mann in Dr. Faustus, the great fictional study of the post-modern composer Adrian Leverkuhn, and upon insights of some of the post-modernists themselves, this after hovers as the lingering but ultimately expunged final (dissonant) chord whose uncanny presence in absence turns cosmic emptiness into the cult of memory, ritualized attentiveness to the faded chord that connects us back to a departed world of meaning by a gossamer thread. A vision of this ritual is acted out in the greatest of all works of deconstruction, The Recovery of Lost Time, in which Marcel Proust guards this attenuating thread with his life like the Wichita lineman, for that is his life. The traveler stranded at the beginning of the epic novel can no longer go forward – there is no more track to lay and no destination to lay it toward – only the obscured recesses of a lost world (long ago when the future still existed), now as fugitive as the years.
Block, J. (2009), "After post-modernism: Toward the recovery of theory", Dahms, H.F. (Ed.) Nature, Knowledge and Negation (Current Perspectives in Social Theory, Vol. 26), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 339-345. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0278-1204(2009)0000026017Download as .RIS
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