Thinking about the relation between modernity and post-modernity. My PhD thesis is essentially postmodern in approach and attitude because that’s how I think. Modernity is, to me, a great big pile of broken promises which has privileged reason and rationality on the one hand and ideas like progress and emancipation on the other. If I had more hands or bigger hands I could add other grandiose terms like objectivity or the way ideas are strangled by definitions and contested linguistic struggles for power. However postmodernity has a difficult history given the dirty treatment it has received in the hands of the apologists for modernity and those who try too hard to show off their postmodern trappings. It follows that I’ll be keeping things fairly low key and understated.
If you can get over modernity (a place and a time) then premodernity and everywhere else (which is not Western Europe or dominated by emigrants of Western Europe) comes back to life, with all of the vibrancy and vigour that the global imperatives and the metanarratives of modernity necessarily oppressed/suppressed/repressed – just pressed – in the name of emancipation. Once modernity is seen as just another mind game it doesn’t go away, but the gods, the visions and all the other narratives come back to play; being accused of irrationality is not the same as being meaningless, and its not an insult, just a prejudice.