By Michael W. Clune

The years after international struggle have noticeable a frequent fascination with the unfastened industry. Michael W. Clune considers this fascination in postwar literature. within the fictional worlds created through works starting from Frank O'Hara's poetry to nineties gangster rap, the industry is remodeled, supplying another kind of existence, distinctive from either the social visions of the left and the individualist ethos of the best. those principles additionally offer an unsettling instance of the way paintings takes on social strength by means of supplying an break out from society. American Literature and the loose marketplace provides a brand new point of view on a few broad ranging works for readers of yank post-war literature.

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24 A few examples of selected knots will suffice here. ”â•›25 “They are not having fun. / I can’t have fun if they don’t. / If I can get them to have fun, then I can have fun with them. ”â•›27 As the second example suggests, and as he argues explicitly elsewhere, these “knots” are not limited to dyadic relations, but apply to any group composed of different subjects. Intersubjective group formation suffers the same null, knotted complexity that characterizes one-on-one relations. Laing wants to cut through these knots, but not, as his critics often imagine, by establishing a healthy relation between subjects.

The critics’ mistake is easy to understand. Laing bases his influential attack on traditional psychoanalysis on the claim that it contains no registration of “the gap between persons” (PE 50), “no category of ‘you,’ … no way of expressing the meeting of an ‘I’ with an ‘other’” (PE 49). His obsessive focus on registering this gap understandably led many to believe that he was interested in crossing it. But nothing could be further from his intention. All Laing’s efforts as a clinical practitioner were directed towards intensifying this gap, rendering it more vivid, more inescapable.

To understand what Jameson calls the “most astonishing feature” of postwar culture, we need to examine how a purely economic form develops as a hybrid of the aesthetic and the economic. And to say that the market requires the aesthetic to become independent of the social, does not mean that it requires the social after all. Heidegger shows us how artworks can open a space in which experience is organized according to 26 American Literature and the Free Market certain principles. In postwar America, the market appears to a number of writers as a nonsocial principle for organizing experience.

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