I have heard that a typical job interview asks in so many words, are you the same as the one who came before. Justify yourself.
Criticism, criticality, and critical practice are job interviews with an audience most often forgotten by the time we get to read it. Whose lover is on the line? Whose roommate, parent, spouse is neglecting the genius of your favorite critic? Recreate the scene if you can, following the targets of invective and understand that hurt and betrayal are usually in the back story and we all need someone to blame.
So at the end of World War II with fascism newly exposed and well underway, totalizing discourse seemed like the enemy of all enemies of the people, and freedom leapt out of hiding, marginalization, and obscurity only with courageous acts of dissent. Modernity was fascist in those days. We had not contemplated neoliberalism for its sins so much.
If postmodern is to modern as romantic is to enlightened, and if postmodern theorizing is an infinite and democratizing negation of metanarrative, the unfinished and negated as terms need elaboration. A postmodern opposition of a metanarrative must not yield to a totalizing infinity or negation.
Heaven, as the placeholder for desires, need not occur as a singular liner ascent across an abstracted well defined threshold as clearly demarcated as any geometric two dimensional line. First of all, a geometric line is cause for mystical contemplation in itself as a form to itself. Secondly, thresholds have body, liminality, and take up all the conflicts and suspension of conflicts that characterize boundary zones. Infinity, or what transcends the finite may be amorphous, dirty, and unfinished. Jacob’s ladder was a dream after all, a spiraling series of encounters with a queer twist.
Negation may mean a simple and regular practice of opposition or refusal of what has been posited. It may therefore mean null and void. It may equally mean drama, intensity, and polymorphous perversity. Negation may be serene or active. None or many. Void or presence. It has no form unto itself, rather responds irreverently or respectfully to its originating respective position. Pulling back, Not. Fighting against, No.
The unfinished or unfinishing as the infinite seems starkly opposed to a solidly negated or posited infinite across a geometric line. Transcendence, likewise, may be felt as a hop or step beyond a substantial realm, or a process marked by and including ladders stairs and other elevating equipment. The beyond has already been cultivated, normalized, rejected or embraced by climbers and those refusing to climb. On moral grounds.