Second Generation Postmodernism

The second generation of Postmodernism has arrived: see this excellent review of "Reality Hunger" by David Shields.

"The first generation of postmodernists, Baudrillard for instance, were constantly at pains to show us that the new reality was manufactured and therefore, in a funny sense, not really real. Baudrillard called it the simulacrum. Reality had become simulation all the way through. To look for the underlying reality on which the simulation was based was to miss the point. Second-generation Postmodernists like Shields find such concerns boring....

Notice the subtle but profound shift in attitude. We have gone from worrying whether there is any reality at all to being overwhelmed by the sheer immensity of the reality we face....

First-generation Postmodernists always wrote like they were standing outside Postmodernism looking in. The sentences came falling to Earth like bombs. And nobody likes getting bombed. David Shields isn't bombing anyone — he's here on Earth with the rest of us working from the inside."

It reminds me of an analogous change I experienced and wrote about in the post An Imperfect Society.

Comments