AFT E R W 0 R 0 Postdictatorship and Postmodernity
The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were
not in the beginning. If you knew when you began a book what you would say
at the end, do you think you would have the courage to write it? What is true
for writing and a love relationship is true also for life. The game is worthwhile
insofar as we don't know what will be the end.
-M Ie H ELF 0 U C A U L T,
"Truth Power and Self: An Interview with Michel
Foucault"
While the Foucault epigraph that opens this afterword accurately de-
scribes my method of composition in this book, it also, and more impor-
tantly, captures my stance toward the underlying question guiding my
engagement with postdictatorship: that of the status of literary writing
in the age of the definitive decline of its links with experience. Whereas
much of the literary-critical establishment has either migrated into other
domains-supposedly or hopefully endowed with the experiential and
social relevance one perceives to be waning in literature-or anguishedly
frets over the future of its discipline, undertaking a preoccupied and at
times paranoid drawing of disciplinary boundaries, I would like to return
to the Nietzschean notion with which I opened this book, that of the
untimely. An untimely approach to literature's recent defeats would stand
in opposition both to the attempt to "adjust to the present conditions"
(thereby embracing objects more palatable to a technified polis) as well
as to the nostalgic, reactive defense of-or a refusal to mourn-what has
been swept away by technification (in a word, the auratic quality of the
literary). The untimely critic does not ever take the present as a given to
adjust to it.
S/he
does not ever attempt to preserve a corner in a current
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