Monday, 16 August 2010

Of space and time




I've been reading Fredric Jameson's "The End of Temporality":

http://criticalinquiry.uchicago.edu/issues/v29/v29n4.jameson.html

Jameson is truly the Master, a model of the cultural critic at the turn of the millennium, as well as a writer who demonstrates that subtle and sophisticated thought will never be easy to read but has no reason being utterly impenetrable (cf Bhabha, Butler and the rest).

He notes that modernism foregrounded the theme of time (Woolf, Bergson) and postmodernism, space. Well, what about digimodernism, one might ask? This is akin to some of the pairings in Ihab Hassan's famous list of binaries where the qualities of modernism were placed over against the characteristics of postmodernism. If within a thematic there are logically only two possibilities, and modernism is clearly over, and postmodernism clearly followed it, does this mean that the more recent moment will be with us forever, there being no other options?

I would reply that digimodernism does not choose to focus on either time or space in this manner, but that it combines and enmeshes two relatively new definitions of both. "Real time" and "cyberspace" are the twin axes of digimodernism. The digimodern appears at the intersection of the two. It's not so much a matter of choosing one term or the other, but first redefining then superimposing them.

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