After Critique: Twenty-First-Century Fiction in a Neoliberal by Mitchum Huehls

By Mitchum Huehls

Periodizing modern fiction opposed to the backdrop of neoliberalism, After Critique identifies a impressive draw back from innovative politics between a cadre of key twenty-first-century authors. via authoritative readings of foundational texts from writers similar to Percival Everett, Helena Viramontes, Uzodinma Iweala, Colson Whitehead, Tom McCarthy, and David Foster Wallace, Huehls charts a different circulate clear of general kinds of political critique grounded in rights discourse, ideological demystification, and the identity of injustice and inequality.

The authors mentioned in After Critique check in the decline of a traditional leftist politics, and in lots of methods even capitulate to its death. As Huehls explains, besides the fact that, such capitulation should still really be understood as modern U.S. fiction's concerted try to reconfigure the character of politics from in the neoliberal beast. whereas it is simple to brush aside this as post-ideological delusion, Huehls attracts on an array of various scholarship--most significantly the paintings of Bruno Latour--to recommend that a completely new type of politics is rising, either due to and in line with neoliberalism. Arguing that we needs to cease taking into consideration neoliberalism as a collection of norms, ideological ideals, or marketplace ideas that may be countered with a extra simply set of norms, ideals, and ideas, Huehls as an alternative insists that we needs to begin to have fun with neoliberalism as a post-normative ontological phenomenon. that's, it is not whatever that calls for us to imagine or act a undeniable method; it truly is whatever that calls for us to be in and occupy area in a definite approach. This provocative remedy of neoliberalism in flip permits After Critique to reimagine our realizing of up to date fiction and the political probabilities it envisions.

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Extra resources for After Critique: Twenty-First-Century Fiction in a Neoliberal Age (Oxford Studies in American Literary History)

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In this way, they complicate standard forms of representation because there’s no perspectival remove from which to paint their picture or write their description. 22 After Critique And yet, it’s crucial to appreciate that Latourian networks are not just undifferentiated vitalist blurs; this is not the immanence of pure flow purged of significant difference. In fact, quite the opposite is the case: there is radical heterogeneity and proliferating difference among a vast array of discrete, hybrid subject-objects.

What if we swam with the zombies? Admittedly, the post-normative result looks disturbingly similar to neoliberalism. ) The ontological equivalence of hybrid subject-objects, for example, eerily echoes the “system of equivalence” by which capitalism reduces culture and history to rationalized market values (Fisher 4). Nevertheless, my wager is that becoming neoliberal—embracing our doubled subject-object ontology—might go some distance toward demonstrating that we’ve never actually been neoliberal.

And I think recent contemporary fiction, with its turn away from critique, has been asking the same question and similarly concluding that we can no longer afford to approach neoliberalism as a representational problem, as an ideological vision of the world requiring our critical engagement. Instead, After Critique sees its contemporary literary archive introducing a productive wrinkle into neoliberal totality by considering, not the Marxist alternative to capitalism, but ontology’s alternative to standard representational forms.

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