By Mitchum Huehls
After critique' identifies an ontological flip in modern U.S. fiction that distinguishes our present literary second from either postmodernism and so-called post-postmodernism. This flip to ontology takes many varieties, yet as a rule After Critique highlights a physique of literature-work from Colson Whitehead, Uzodinma Iweala, Karen Yamasthia, Helena Viramontes, Percival Everett, Mat Johnson, Kim Stanley Robinson, and Tom McCarthy-that favors presence over absence, being over that means, and connection over reference. those authors' curiosity in generating literary price ontologically instead of representationally stems from their feel that neoliberalism's capacious take hold of on modern language and discourse-its skill to regulate either side of a conceptual debate or argument-has made it approximately most unlikely to jot down past neoliberalism's grip. this is often quite distressing for authors invested in modern politics as neoliberalism renders any variety of political difficulties circularly undecidable.0Taking up 4 diverse political themes-human rights, the relation among private and non-private area, racial justice, and environmentalism-After Critique means that the ontological varieties rising in modern U.S. fiction articulate a model of politics that will effectively avoid neoliberal appropriation. it is a politics which replaces critique and its reliance on illustration with ontology and its ever-shifting configurations and assemblages. Read more...
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Extra info for After critique. Twenty-first-century fiction in a neoliberal age
And that’s the maddening thing about neoliberalism’s rationalized discourse: the opponents of race-based decision-making effectively co-opted the social justice discourse of those in favor of race-based decision-making to ultimately defeat race-based decision-making. The struggle for rights and equality was defeated by the language of rights and equality. Both majority and minority opinions, for example, championed equal rights; both sides pointed to the 14th Amendment’s “equal protection” clause to justify their claims.
Birth 259–260) Rather than deploying norms that deterministically mold an individual’s subjective interiority, Foucault notes that neoliberal governmentality treats individuals as discrete, autonomous beings pinging around inside a regulated social sphere committed to efficient profit maximization. Freed from normative construction, the subject is no longer subjected to ideological representations, no longer suffers a conspiracy of manipulation and control. An open field of “fluctuating processes” replaces normativity as homo œconomicus becomes an administrated subject-object within the larger system (270).
Finally, I will suggest why, when wrestling with specific political issues that neoliberalism makes uniquely undecidable, contemporary fiction writers are increasingly rejecting critique in favor of a post-normative, post-critical politics. The Neoliberal Circle A 2012 IBM commercial campaign championing its “smart marketing” technologies ably demonstrates neoliberalism’s reliance on the purified distinction between subjects and objects. It also shows, however, the way neoliberalism exploits that purified distinction by oscillating with ease between each position—sometimes figuring people as individuated subjects and other times as homogenized objects—until it captures and controls both sides.
After critique. Twenty-first-century fiction in a neoliberal age by Mitchum Huehls