EX
Under History: Underworld
n
WhatIhavedescribedasculturalparanoiarestsonseeminglycon
dictory conceptualizations of temporality and history that coincid
the narratives of paranoia here considered. Haecceitic temporality
the segmentation of time into dispersed instances whole unto th
selves that randomly intersect and cohere into events, is the materia
a conspiratorial, destinal history founded on the retrospective forg
of connections between those scattered instances. Such a view of t
porality both withholds and promises to reveal the one, true, se
history of the real—the latent destiny—that was always there, awai
discovery by the canny witness, participant, or historian. Postmode
ist senses of identity as multiple and fluid, both at the periphery
yet the center of disconnected events awaiting amalgamation in a re
latory history, constitute the agency of cultural paranoia that indu
the characters of the assassin, the apocalyptic nomad, the serial kil
or the executor who serve doubly as objects and sources of paranoi
the narratives I’ve discussed. Whether it is the history of the cold
or the biography in interviews and letters of a capital criminal, hist
under this rubric is merely the totalized backdrop—a ‘‘homogeneo
empty time’’ that could be characterized as a spatiotemporal collag
particular instances—for the titanic struggle between them and u
theseagentingtagsbecomeattachedtothemobilitiesofself,party,c
or nation.1
Derrida writes in Spectres of Marx that it is this history that c
tinues to inhabit the postmodern, post–cold war West, the avatar of
Previous Page Next Page