Pomo Trip

Not all the stunning moments come from the shelves that St. Mark's Bookshop labels "Cultural/Critical Theory," however. The travel journal of filmmaker Chris Marker (of La Jetée fame), "Sunless," seems at first merely a surreal daybook. By its end the casual dislocations and sudden focus on fragmentary images is mesmerizing, and gathers together phrases utterly elusive and perfectly proper. At one point he formulates what could be a Semiotext(e) slogan, shouted at the Blooms across the historical divide: "Electronic texture is the only one that can deal with sentiment, memory, and imagination." But if that's a fitting epigram, Baudrillard carves a fine potential epitaph in "Why Theory?": "For every thought one must expect a strange tomorrow."

An epitaph is only proper; what anthology is not also a tombstone? Eras end rarely from the failure of their ideas, but always because we remain in motion; Semiotext(e)'s strange tomorrow is our strange today. "In any case," mused the voice-over in an old French movie, as the camera raced over water toward Venice, "one traverses an era like one passes the Dogana point, that is to say, rather fast. First of all, you do not look at it whilst it comes, and then you discover it reaching its zenith, and you have to agree that it was built thus, and not otherwise. But we are already weathering this cape, and are leaving it behind us, and are heading into unknown waters."


illustration: David Ball

Details

Hatred of Capitalism: A Semiotext(e) Reader
Edited by Chris Kraus and SylvŤre Lotringer
Semiotext(e), 430 pp., $16.95
Buy this book

Also in This Week’s Voice:

Joy Press profiles novelist Gary Indiana

Nita Rao on The Gloves: A Boxing Chronicle by Robert Anasi

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