The Public Interest

Postmodern, posthuman, postreal

James Bowman

Summer 1996

IF you thought quotas were bad, just have a look at these quoters! Quotation-mark culture seems to have gone about as far as it can go when the editors of Posthuman Bodies, † on the introductory page of the introductory essay, refer to themselves as “’us,” in quotation marks! Their ironic excess suggests that, if the specter of unbridled sexual desire was the nameless dread which haunted the imagination of previous generations of critics, its counterpart today is belief. Not just religious belief, but belief in anything, up to and including one’s own existence. Those who put in quotes even the pronoun referring to themselves would not wish to be understood as implying an unsophisticated, uncritical acceptance of their own existences.  Such an acceptance, if generalized, would threaten the whole critical enterprise by implying that some entities cannot be deconstructed.

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