Full Text

IntroductionSome Versions of Cultural and Critical Theory

MICHAEL PAYNE


Subject Literature

DOI: 10.1111/b.9780631207535.1997.00003.x


Extract

It is the trope of our times to locate the question of culture in the realm of the beyond . At the century's edge, we are less exercised by annihilation – the death of the author – or epiphany – the birth of the “subject.” Our existence today is marked by a tenebrous sense of survival, living on the borderlines of the “present” for which there seems to be no proper name other than the current and controversial shiftiness of the prefix “post:” postmodernism, postcolonialism, postfeminism . ( Bhabha, 1994 , p. 1) In one of his witty fictions of futile human efforts to give order to knowledge, Borges describes a Chinese encyclopedia's categories of animals as “(a) belonging to the Emperor, (b) embalmed, (c) tame, (d) sucking pigs, (e) sirens, (f) fabulous, (g) stray dogs, (h) included in the present classification, (i) frenzied, (j) innumerable, (k) drawn with a very fine camelhair brush, (1) et cetera , (m) having just broken the water pitcher, (n) that from a long way off look like flies” ( Borges, 1974 , p. 708). It is not surprising that the many recent attempts to define the field of cultural studies seem no less whimsical than this, since culture is simultaneously such an elusive and all-encompassing idea. In 1952 the distinguished anthropologists A.L. Kroeber and Clyde Kluckhohn published the most comprehensive assessment of culture as a term and an idea. They carefully distinguished ... log in or subscribe to read full text

Log In

You are not currently logged-in to Blackwell Reference Online

If your institution has a subscription, you can log in here:

 

     Forgotten your password?

Find out how to subscribe.

Your library does not have access to this title. Please contact your librarian to arrange access.


[ access key 0 : accessibility information including access key list ] [ access key 1 : home page ] [ access key 2 : skip navigation ] [ access key 6 : help ] [ access key 9 : contact us ] [ access key 0 : accessibility statement ]

Blackwell Publishing Home Page

Blackwell Reference Online ® is a Blackwell Publishing Inc. registered trademark
Technology partner: Semantico Ltd.

Blackwell Publishing and its licensors hold the copyright in all material held in Blackwell Reference Online. No material may be resold or published elsewhere without Blackwell Publishing's written consent, save as authorised by a licence with Blackwell Publishing or to the extent required by the applicable law.

Back to Top