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

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 e-book argues that the mind's eye of apocalyptic endings has been an obsessive subject matter in post-Enlightenment tradition. Dominic Pettman identifies and examines the dynamic tensions of assorted apocalyptic discourses, from the fin-de-siècle decadents of the Nineties to the fin-de-millènnium cyberpunks of the Nineties, with a purpose to 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, loss of life type, 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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And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. (1 John 2:15-17) Echoing these sentiments in the sixth century, Gregory the Great wrote; “Let us despise with all our being this present—or rather extinct—world. At least let worldly desires end with the end of the world; let us imitate what deeds of good men we can” (ibid. : 69-70). This is indeed an optimistic wish, considering the fact that the liminal structure of premillennial time serves to privilege nihilistic sexual license over the puritanical ideals of purity and chastity.

Similarly, this study deals with a particular kind of language; one employed by, and addressed to, a certain kind of subjectivity and demographic. Given the authors who constitute my particular genealogy, it should be clear that this demographic is predominantly white, male, American, or European; socially estranged; and economically privileged. As witnessed with the Heaven’s Gate cult, however, strict demographic delineations become blurred when dealing with the shifting matrices of sexuality, technology, capital, and desire.

Nevertheless, to compare the transgressive strain in their writings provides an opportunity to unbandage that festering area where the scatological resides within the eschatological. Sade and the Death of God There is no better way to know death than to link it with some licentious image. Marquis de Sade (Bataille, 1986: 11) In “A Preface to Transgression” (1977), Foucault traces a direct link between the writings of Sade, the “death of God” and the formation of “sexuality” in the official languages of modernity.

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