All of Zena

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Expertise project September 18, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — nemo33 @ 11:00 am

According to Lyotard, a work can only be amodern if it is first postmodern.  Lyotard puts a postmordernist into the position of a philosopher, they are not restricted by form or the rules modernists use, but rather play off the rules as guidelines for their work.  Lyotard brings attention to the point that postmodern works inlcude allusions that are partly inconceivable, yet ungraspable, concepts.  He describes some allusions of actually being sublime because you get the pleasure out of the pain of not fully grasping what many postmodernists are alluding to.  Lyotard states on page 81 of What is Postmodern?, ” A postmodern artist or writer is in the position of a philospher: the test he writes, the work he produces are not in principle goverend by pre-established rules, and they can not be judged according to a determining judgment, by applying familiar catergories to the text or to the work.  Those rules and catergories are what the work of art itself is looking for.  The artist and the writer, then, are working with out rules in order to formulate the rules of what will have been done.”  This shows Lyotard’s theory because it states the use of pre-established rules as guidlines instead of restrictions.  Also, it includes how to use the guidelines to make their work their own and postmodern at the same time.

  Lyotard’s theory can relate with Lost in the Funhouse, by John Barth.  In this short story the fun house is alluded to being many different things besides just physically being an amusement structure for children.  This can be seen on page 237, the point of sumblime and the difference of virtual versus reality comes into place.   It states, ” He wishes he had never entered the funhouse.  But he has.  Then he wishes he were dead.  But he’s not.  Therefore he will construct funhouses for others and be their secret operator–though he would rather be among the lovers for whom funhouses are designed.”  You originally think a funhouse is just a ride, but it could be many things.  Possiblities include a place for lovers or the coming of puberty.

  We agree with Lyotard’s way of describing postmodernism, his examples of rules being guidelines and the fact that most points are only being alluded to help us understand the intentions of the writers to show that there is something behind the lines.  This is important in most postmodern works because it helps the understanding behind the work and what the creator is trying to show.  The allusion helps us see the bigger picture.  As of now, at this point, the only real theorist we can compare Lyotard to is Malpas.  They do not comtradict nor agree with each other, but it seems as if Malpas plays off a negative light on Lyotard when describing himself.

  Outside resources:’s+theory+supporters&source=web&ots=GhOM56POXS&sig=2AED65oggZgsKQ5TWKKzvPPfSjw


3 Responses to “Expertise project”

  1. Kim Clune Says:

    I found your link to most helpful in getting a better grip on Lyotard. On that site, the term “grand narrative” is used as opposed to meta-narrative which allowed me to better understand the encompassing story of a culture or society. As an example, Marxism is the grand narrative that capitalism is based on greed and will fall to ashes, giving birth from those ashes to a Utopian society. Postmodernism, and Lyotard in particular, objects not to the story itself but to such singular objectivity.

    I also found interesting the criticism of postmodernism as a grand narrative subject to the same criticism it uses on other grand narratives. Perhaps this is why postmodernism is so difficult to pin down. At its very essence, it hopes to avoid becoming a grand narrative.

    What I still can’t fully get my head around is that “rules and categories are what the work of art itself is looking for. The artist and the writer, then, are working without rules in order to formulate the rules of what will have been done.

    Okay. I understand that modern rules of literature are simply a guideline and that authors use them in postmodern work to allude to the unrepresentable. I also understand that the fusion of various forms either leads to a unified result, or doesn’t, and that Lyotard would say that the reader, not the author, determines the outcome. Does this mean that reader interpretation defines rules the author doesn’t fully understand until after their work is read?

    Again, I’m stuck in the grand Delorian of time travel. Help a poor girl out.

  2. […] hard work, we now have our very first Expertise Project up and available for your perusal here.  […]

  3. […] 2007.09.17  To Christine on Winterson 2007.09.23  To Marina on Fight Club, the film 2007.09.23  To the Class Experts on Lyotard 2007.09.29  To Hannah on Fight Club, the book 2007.09.29  To Esther on Jameson […]

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