Alan Liu

in The Laws of Cool

Published by University of Chicago Press

Published in print October 2004 | ISBN: 9780226486987
Published online February 2013 | e-ISBN: 9780226487007 | DOI:

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This Epilogue reflects on how the author of this book found a strange yet utterly familiar thing that he came to call the “ethos of the unknown” from which this book grew. The author wanted to believe that an individual could match the world of corporate knowledge work—at least enough to criticize it. The Epilogue criticizes post-industrialism from inside because—here and now, in this place and time—there is no transcendental outside. One must think a little like a corporation to engage with post-industrialism. The Epilogue also addresses the question of whether critique from inside the corporate knowledge structure is just another kind of cool irony, but no more than that. Finally, it states that literature will have a place in a new-media world otherwise dominated by the design, visual, and musical arts. But we do not yet know how to theorize what the eventual nature and position of that literature will be among the convergent data streams of the future.

Keywords: ethos of the unknown; knowledge work; post-industrialism; cool; literature; arts

Chapter.  2345 words. 

Subjects: Literary Theory and Cultural Studies

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