But capitalism in itself has such a capacity to derealise familiar objects, social roles and institutions that so called “realist” representations can no longer evoke reality except through nostalgia or derision – as an occasion for suffering rather than satisfaction. Classicism seems out of the question in a world where reality is so destabilised that it has no material to offer to experience, but only for analysis and experimentation.
Jean-François Lyotard, “Answering the question: what is the postmodern?”, in The Postmodern Explained to Children (Sydney, Power Publications, 1992).
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