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Martin Paul Eve

Professor of Literature, Technology and Publishing at Birkbeck, University of London

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A map, as of the 28th February 2015, of Chapter Three of the book I am slowly working on.

Chapter Three: Political Critique and the University in Roberto Bolaño’s 2666

In Chapter 2, C was presented as aesthetic critique
This chapter is on political critique
Form/content dichotomy is false but there are still strengths of focus
Summary of 2666
	Text is metafictional
		Reference to utopia
		“great imperfect torrential work”
Bolaño's novel as crypto-didacticism
	Fiction that aims to teach
	University is represented in this novel
	Sharae Deckard notes the book's “didactic set pieces”
	Subjectification process is pedagogical
Queries politics and teaching function of this pedagogy/didacticism
Two parts to chapter:
	Part I: didacticism/pornography/commitment
	Part II: representation of the university/strategies of condescension

Crypto-Didacticism, Utopia and 2666
		Subform of encyclopaedic novel
		Moral purpose amid overloaded structure
		Readers tend to reject this through collective denial
			They are privileged enough to understand text
	Pynchon as potential generic precursor of crypto-didacticism
		Gravity's Rainbow: contemporary tech predicated on genocide
		2666: 400 women raped and murdered
		Most criticism takes this as ethical core
	Readings of ethics in complex fictions imply didacticism
	2666 encodes didacticism amid overloading
		Reader must invest intellectual capital to understand
		Type of reader-active approach of university English
		Text also encodes jibes at this approach
	Literary studies works against this approach
		Arriving at endpoint without “work” undoes pedagogy
		Utopian and pedagogical function against explication
	Theoretical paradigms for reading politically critical fictions
		Adorno and commitment
			Response to Sartre
			Committed vs. autonomous art
			Content to be fetish
			Or falsely denounce ineradicable connection with reality
			Commitment is unreasonable demand of discipline
		Problem of empathy as pornography
			Carolyn J. Dean's critique
			Bolaño's avoidance
	2666 in the utopian tradition
		More's text as parodic schooling based on historic England
		Fictions of process: unfinished, dislocation and reformulation
		Comparison to 1Q84
		Dislocation: Santa Theresa/Ciudad Juárez
		Mapping of city necropolis
		Societal independence of art (or not)
		Mirrors '68 and university

Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?: Critiquing the critics and the university in 2666
	University in 2666 is twinned with the police
		Ideological and repressive state apparatus (Althusser)
	Idea of harmless eccentric literary critics is destroyed
		Ethics and hypocrisy linked to central tenet of novel
			Therefore, does matter
		Farred's critique of “neoliberalism”
		Critique of “excellence” and “competition”
	Definition of “neoliberalism”
	University as always vocational
	University in 2666 divided against itself
		Is failure as revolutionary praxis
		Is also failure as utopian project
			Was never pure
		Aesthetic vs. political critique in the novel
	2666 pre-compromises formalist readings
	Also pre-invalidates sociological approaches
	“Ethical” lit crit as strategy of condescension
		Critics + Liz Norton
		Zadie Smith's On Beauty
	Temporal disjunction of the novel's title
		Amulet reference
		Time fluctuation
	Bolaño's novel doesn't teach art, it teaches the academy
		In this way, though, it becomes itself utilitarian
		Keep writing?