Enlightening Up Postmodernism: Six Pastirodies

Enlightening Up Postmodernism: Six Pastirodies (Cd-ROM)

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 Enlightening Up Postmodernism: Six Pastirodies
Purdue University Press

Book Description

Part pastiche and part parody, Enlightening Up Postmodernism brings the techniques, values, and terms of the Enlightenment into collision with the strategies, misgivings, and terminology of postmodernism. Resulting from many years of sustained reading of the tart, rigorous literature of the eighteenth century, and almost as many years of university teaching and committeeing, Enlightening Up Postmodernism was written to vex scholars without a sense of theory and theorists without a sense of humor, while diverting able readers of all persuasions. To that end, Johnson's Life of Foucault, supplies the-somewhat judgmental-biography of Foucault that he would surely have written had he had the opportunity, while Lord Chesterfield's Letters To His Daughter On the Tenure Track converts the courtly advice that Chesterfield inflicted on his illegitimate son into something more academic and more mischievous. This critical and scholarly hybrid allows the wisdom and eloquence of the past to probe some weaknesses, oversights, and distortions in the theoretical work of the present and enables recent work in theory to interrogate some of the short-sightedness, prejudice, evasion, and complacency in the writings of the past. Of the remaining chapters, one reworks some papers from The Spectator into wry commentaries on the postmodern lifestyle. Another, in heroic couplets, converts Pope's Essay on Criticism into An Essay on Theery, and a third turns Swift's ironic Argument Against Abolishing Christianity into one Against Abolishing Higher Education. The last chapter inverts the process, wrenching a postmodern text back three centuries, to wrap Fredric Jameson's (deservedly famous) reading of the Westin Bonaventure Hotel around Vanbrugh's neo-classical Blenheim Palace. A brief bonus provides the reply Lord Chesterfield ought to have written to Samuel Johnson's too familiar, whining letter about his treatment as a lexicographer

About the Author(s):

Alan T. McKenzie is a professor of English at Purdue University , where he teaches eighteenth century British literature, as well as literary criticism, academic novels, and review writing. Previous books include Certain, Lively Episodes: The Articulation of Passion in Augustan Prose and Sent As A Gift: Eight Correspondences from the Eighteenth Century. He has published articles on Hobbes, Swift, Fielding, Johnson, Chesterfield , Burke, and Austen, as well as Bewick, Fergusson, Updike, and teaching Oxbridge novels