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By John Hawkes

An English horse race, the Golden Bowl at Aldington, presents the history for John Hawkes' interesting novel, The Lime Twig, which tells of an creative plot to scouse borrow and race a horse lower than a fake name.But it might be unfair to the reader to bare what occurs whilst a gang crooks will get wind of the scheme and strikes to muscle in in this bettors' dream of a long-odds state of affairs. labored out with all of the meticulous element, terror, and suspense of a nightmare, the story is, on one point, equivalent to a Graham Greene mystery; on one other, it explores a bunch of individuals, their relationships fears, and loves. For as Leslie A. Fiedler says in his advent, "John Hawkes.. . makes terror instead of love the guts of his paintings, realizing the entire whereas, in fact, that there will be no terror with out the desire for romance and love's defeat . . . ."

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9 By theory, Elkins refers not to the virtual marketplace of ideas applied to local art historical investigations but rather something more global, of the order of a Grand Unified Theory, a theory of everything. The reference, of course, is to Einstein and the dream of a unified field. As Elkins writes: Physics turns on what are called GUTs (grand unified theories) and TOEs (theories of everything), in the sense that physicists work with 8 9 Baudrillard Live, 23. Elkins, Master Narratives, 33.

Their interventions are universally sharp and provocative, and I’ve learned much from them. Though the online format was proposed in order to sidestep the inevitable contingencies that Acknowledgments xxx arise when organizing such seminars in the “real” world, the exchange took far longer than anticipated so I’m especially grateful for the time and energy they devoted to the text, not to mention the unstinting rigor of their commentary. When Jim asked me who I would like to write the foreword to New Games, the first name that sprang to mind was Johanna Burton, in part because (as a critic) her understanding of contemporary art is without peer; but also because (as an art historian) few scholars of her generation are as conversant in the historiography and theories of postmodernism as she is.

I do so to complicate the recent rush within art history to the phenomenon generically known as “the contemporary”: the institutional embrace of contemporary art by the academy and all that this implies for questions of the contemporary art market and the art world. Somewhere along the way, we have abandoned postmodernism in all its theoretical (and ideological) diversity. The question this prompts me to ask is blunt: How do we account for postmodernism after the fact of the Introduction 26 “contemporary,” particularly given the anti-historicist interests so much of its criticism addressed?

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