This is the end

pleaseturnouthelight

“The world was ending then, it’s ending still, and I’m happy to belong to it again….”

The author of these words, the novelist and essayist Jonathan Franzen, titled his 2002 book of essays How to Be Alone. He’s not. A check of books published between 1998 and October 2002 and received by the Harvard University Library reveals that we are at the end of agriculture, the American century, anathemas, the art world, the Asian miracle, the Asian model, authoritarian regimes, the beginning, baseball, books, boxing, business as usual, capitalism, certainty, change, cinema, class politics, class war, the Cold War, crime, development, empire (five), economic democracy, economic man, ethnography, Eurasia, evil, fashion, finance, foreign policy, gay, globalization, the growth paradigm, history (four), homework, human rights, ideology, illiteracy, imagination, an illusion, innocence (two), innovation in architecture, internationalism, kings, law (two), man, masculinity, marriage, marketing, the Microsoft era, modern medicine, the modern world, Modernism, money, natural evolution, nature (two), nomadism, North Korea, the oil era, the past, patience, the peace process, philosophy, the poem, political exceptionalism, politics, print, privacy (two), race, the revolution, secrecy, shareholder value, the standard job and family, the story, style culture, sweatshops, theology, time (six), tolerance, torture, utopia, welfare (two), welfare rights, the welfare state, and, last but not least, the world (eight). Certainly the spirit of the millennium inspired much of this outpouring of work on the “end of” theme. But there is more to it than just reaching a new mark on arguably the world’s most important calendar. Among other things, it signals a general willingness to entertain the prospect of a fundamental turninging point in society and culture…”

Vincent Mosco. The Digital Sublime: Myth, Power and Cyberspace. Cambridge, Mass./London: The MIT Press, 2004.  p 55

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