Download After the Orgy: Toward a Politics of Exhaustion by Dominic Pettman PDF

By Dominic Pettman

Making use of Jean Baudrillard’s query ’What are you doing after the orgy?’ to the postmillennial weather that informs our modern cultural second, this ebook argues that the mind's eye of apocalyptic endings has been an obsessive subject in post-Enlightenment tradition. Dominic Pettman identifies and examines the dynamic tensions of varied apocalyptic discourses, from the fin-de-siècle decadents of the Eighteen Nineties to the fin-de-millènnium cyberpunks of the Nineties, so that it will spotlight the complicated constellation of exhaustion, anticipation, panic, and ecstasy in modern tradition. via analyses of rapturous cults, cyberpunk literature, post-apocalyptic cinema, techno-paganism, demise style, and the Y2K prophecy, After the Orgy explores why the 20th century swung so violently among the poles of anticipation and anticlimax. within the procedure, the ebook increases urgent questions in regards to the relevance of such rules in our new millennium and issues out choices to the monotonous horror of conventional narratives.

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Extra resources for After the Orgy: Toward a Politics of Exhaustion

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The eternal jouissance of polymorphous “female” sexuality is contrasted with that genitally focused male “quickie” that lasts merely a millennium. However, things are never as black and white as Paglia’s crude distinctions imply. Ernest Lee Tuveson tells us that, in response to the prophet Joachim, St. Thomas “concludes in effect that the Church is static, as is history. No purposive change, no climax in a historical plot is to be expected” (20). This edict would have suited the Adamites, an heretical Christian sect that “sought to recapture in this life the innocent eroticism of Adam before the Fall, [and] practiced coitus reservatus, intercourse without orgasm, that is to say, pure forepleasure” (Brown, 1970: 30).

Libidinal millenarianism thus blossoms in that psychically and politically charged space between anticipation and anti-climax. A Note on Methodology From the outset I would like to apologize for coining such an unwieldy phrase as libidinal millenarianism. Having spent the last five years trying to eloquently introduce this concept to friends and colleagues, I am only too aware of its capacity to glaze previously receptive minds. Unfortunately, I have found no alternative that does the concept justice, despite many public requests for a less academic phrase.

In his essay on “An Apocalyptic Tone Recently Adopted in Philosophy,” Derrida teases out the libidinous logic of Armageddon: “Apokalupto, I disclose, I uncover, I unveil, I reveal the thing that can be a part of the body, the head or the eyes, a secret part, the sex or whatever might be hidden . . man’s or woman’s sex” (4). He goes on to argue that “the gesture of denuding or of affording sight . . [is] sometimes more guilty and more dangerous than what follows and what it can give rise to, for example copulation” (5).

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