Photoshop montage of found cyberobjects* by Sissy Willis
"Some academics say that postmodern theory is on the way out altogether and that the heady ideas that once changed the way literature is taught and read will soon be as extinct as the dodo and the buggy whip," writes David Kirby in The Christian Science Monitor:
Some of the biggest names in the field would seem to agree. In Chicago last spring at a discussion sponsored by the journal Critical Inquiry cutting-edge thinkers such as Stanley Fish, Frederic Jameson, Homi Bhabha, and Henry Louis Gates Jr. spent two hours saying that postmodern theory was ineffective and no longer mattered in the world outside academe, if it ever did.
According to "theory's reformed bad boy," Terry Eagleton of Manchester University, "cultural theory as we have it promises to grapple with some fundamental problems, but on the whole fails to deliver" on such biggies as morality and metaphysics, love, biology, religion and revolution, not to mention evil: "a large slice of human existence to fall down on."
While universities are "now heavily packed with what we might now call old-line theorists," says one professor, once that group retires, says another, the way will open up for "a renewed appreciation of the irreducible particularity of an art work, an author, an historical moment, a particularity that theory may illuminate but never fully explain." Adds Kirby:
In the meantime, where Marx once ruled, today more down-to-earth literary explorations seem to be on the throne once more.
[via Arts & Letters Daily]