Friends, I’m in the muck of drafting a study of Dana Spiotta for the Gale American Writers series and thought I’d share what’s been happening in contemporary literary studies since I’ve been gone.
Postmodernism: No stable, coherent subjectivity is possible given the way media technologies, the war machine, capitalism, racism and sexism have colonized everything about our experience as humans.
“Post-postmodernism” (no non-dumb name for this yet): Yeah, but we have to find a way to live anyway.
This is why people get so worked up about David Foster Wallace saying fiction is about what it means to “be a fucking human being.” And why people talk about
feelings affect as suddenly mattering. And why the canon got splintered by people with non-normative experiences like being LGTBQ or black or women or generally people who’ve had their identities smashed by mainstream culture forever and were like yeah, duh, when the white straight guys realized this in the 60s-90s.
Finding an ethics within fragmented subjectivity–> That’s Dana Spiotta’s work.