Worlding Postmodernism : Interpretive Possibilities of Critical Theory
his engaging study by Haidar Eid argues for a reconstruction of a critical theory that retains an anti-authoritarian totality against the logic of ‘post-al’ theories. It attempts to reconstruct a notion of totality that has systematic and comprehensive aims. Moreover, the critical theory it calls for is informed by theories of rationality, reason, and knowledge without falling into essentialism and apriori epistemology. It therefore maintains that the ideological irresponsibility of some ‘post-al’ theories in ignoring broad social and political phenomena is necessarily a reflection of the penetration of global capital in almost all fields of life and the disintegration of the liberal public sphere. However, what this research ultimately aims to achieve is a dialectical critical theory that combines (post)modern and ‘traditional’ micro-and macro analysis.
In its dialectical movement from theory to practice, through a historical materialist approach, the study explores the modernity and (post)modernity of James Joyce’s novel A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man and Don DeLillo’s White Noise in relation to the political economy of the world(s) that has produced them. It investigates how the two texts—being modern and (post)modern —demonstrate, through their reflection of (on) capitalism as a macrophenomenon, a utopian vision of alternative world(s). This is achieved through a socio-historical consciousness that amounts to a criticism of the organizations and the Ideological State Apparati of monopoly and late capitalist societies.