American Cartographies 3: Neoregionalism

Back for round three! A brief recap of the Leslie Fiedler-D&Gian literary psychogeography of America: East—Decoding from/recoding with Europe—Henry James, Eliot, Pound North—Capitalist decoding—Dos Passos, Dreiser South—Overcode of the slave system, post-Civil War ruin—Faulkner, Caldwell West—Line of flight, escape, madness—Kesey, beat generation, etc with further correspondences to East—Desire as Jouissance; phantasy North—Desire as lack; castration […]

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Greil Marcus on David Lynch

A wonderful description of David Lynch in The Shape of Things to Come: Prophecy and the American Voice by Greil Marcus—notable in particular for the reference to Natty Bumppo, invoked by Leslie Fiedler to describe the sort mythical figure that arises in the Westward direction: …for thirty years Lynch has been as much a frontiersman as Natty […]

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Kentucky Degree Zero

…what characterizes these spaces is that their nature cannot be explained in a simply spatial way. They imply non-localizable relations. These are direct presentations of time—Deleuze, Cinema II. I’ve recently been replaying the now well-known adventure game Kentucky Route Zero in preparation for the recently-released final act (for those unfamiliar, the various acts of the game’s stories have […]

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Strange America Round-Up

For the sake of organizing the various bits and pieces scattered around this blog on ‘weird America’, the ‘West’, etc—to try and build them towards a more cohesive project?—here’s a little index of what’s been scribbled so far: The New Religion and Its Schisms The Invisible Landscape American Cartographies Everything Calls Out The Humor of […]

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Empire at the End

Last night realized that I missed a golden opportunity in my last post—which began with the relationship/contrast between the delirium of the West and the imperial ecumenon as described by Deleuze and Guattari, and which ended at the weird of the 1970s—to mention Philip K. Dick and his time-scrambling suggestion that us (post)moderns are, in […]

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American Cartographies 2

In the beginning of the second chapter of The Return of the Vanishing American, Leslie Fiedler wrote: For a long time, Europeans thought of themselves as inhabiting a world without a West: a threefold oecumene made up of Europe itself, Asia, and Libya, which is to say a ruling and redeemed North plus a subsidiary and […]

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Nostalgia for the End

Hypertelia: “a process of something surpassing its function or objective”. “With systems of economy, knowledge, and production, if they go too far in one direction they get carried away and over-reach their own limits, and at this moment lose themselves in reversal” — Baudrillard, Selected Interviews  Kojève’s provocative suggestion was that the US, at its mad-Fordist […]

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Forgetting

A great bit from Leslie Fiedler’s The Return of the Vanishing American: If there still exists for us a Wilderness and a Place-out-of-time appropriate for renewal rather than recreation, then that place must be in the Future, not the Past: that Future toward which we have been pointed ever since the Super-Guy comic books and the […]

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Repetition, Innovation, Class War

“The history is unendurable, its contents need to be concealed, therefore myth appears inseparable from revolutionary crisis. Given the compulsion to create ‘something entirely new’ the nightmare of dead generations will overpower the consciousness, ghosts will walk, and whatever novelty comes into existence will be the unwilled and unpredicted effect of time’s ironical victory.” — […]

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The Humor of Surfaces

A few stray thoughts continuing off from the last post on roadside attractions and kitsch Americana as ‘vernacular surrealism’— If America, with its complicated approach to the depths of history and focus on self-cultivation (in the face of ‘symbolic deficiency’) can be most immediately understood through the notion of the surface, then the relationship that […]

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