Edited by Hal Foster
Cyberpunk has jumped track from the realm of science fiction to the realm of cultural criticism. The near-future world first glimpsed in cyberpunk literature has arrived.
Academics are now interested in how cyberpunk fits into the current of post-modernism, radical cultural history and Twentieth Century avant-garde art. The Anti-Aesthetic, subtitled "Essays in Post-Modern Culture," is used in many college courses on post-modernism. It contains essays by Habermas, Baudrillard, Jameson, Krauss and other articulators of post-modern theory and criticism. Editor Hal Foster presents a clear and cogent overview with his introductory essay. This book is a moderately accessible (it is "post-modernism" after all) anthology for those wanting to understand current critiques on culture.
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Bourgeois art had two expectations of the audiences. On the one hand, the layman who enjoyed art should educate himself to become an expert. On the other hand, he should also behave as a competent consumer who uses art and relates aesthetic experiences to his own life problems. This second, and seemingly harmless, manner of experiencing art has lost its radical implications exactly because it had a confused relation to the attitude of being an expert and a professional.