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By 1830, it was appropriated by utopian socialists to refer to those people of vision--artists, philosophers, scientists--who would help usher in the new ideal society. The whole purpose of this sort of intro to the Avant-Pop attempts to discuss discursive subversion in a form that is itself discursively subversive, yet (we hope) readable.And by 1870, it had morphed out of the realm of warriors and pure politics, become commonly used to identify successive movements of writers, musicians, artists, and other performers who, with typical in-your-face elan, were intent on developing their own formal opposition to everything mainstream. "--David Foster Wallace, "E Unibus Pluram: Television and U. Fiction," in Review of Contemporary Fiction 13.2 (Summer 1993): 168."There is only one thing a writer can write about: what is in front of his senses at the moment of writing. A question to ask ourselves is: What was postmodernism? no, it's a freelance TV cameraman in a helicopter chasing down the next prime-time victim! Do we take out our fire-retardant corrosion-resistant nickel- base alloy robo-enhanced methyl isocyanate flamethrowers and blow the fucker up?It wasn't until the eighties, with the emergence of such edge-runners as Kathy Acker, Cindy Sherman, Jenny Holzer, Sonic Youth, and Mark Leyner, that we really began to recognize texts with which we felt directly connected. The appearance, or the reappearance, or the continuation (depending on your perspective and your sense of aesthetic history) of the Avant-Pop.

The narratological anarchy gave way to the tight tripartite discipline of three sections which explore the different pre- and post-revolutionary universes of a world where gender and identity are fluid and heading toward terminal transformation.

Writers like Acker (and Burroughs before her) have taught our generation of writers that we have to wake up in the midst of all this reality-studio dreaming.

Today such distinctions are, if anything, even more difficult to maintain than they were only a quarter of a century ago.

Should rock videos by Madonna, Peter Gabriel, or Laurie Anderson be considered mainstream simply because they are enormously popular--even though they employ visual and poetic techniques that twenty-five years ago would certainly have been considered highly experimental?

Health is the lusting for infinity and dying of all variants. Listen, I've been totally psyched about this *In Memoriam To Postmodernism* collection we've been working on and wanna open up a short e-mail rap with you about it. But somehow the metafictional strategies of postmodernism got totally absorbed by the mainstream media marketeers who took pleasure in rooting out whatever avant-garde spirit may have resided in the best work.

Their flaming jumping passions are infinite, but are not them."--Kathy Acker, Blood and Guts in High School "May Road Runner cartoons never vanish from the video waves, is my attitude."--Thomas Pynchon, Slow Learner Cybergreetings Amerika! I mean there's no question that Avant-Pop grows out of many rhizomatic lineages and traditions including the weird pomo fictioneers like Barthelme, Pynchon, Madeline Gins and Steve Katz (whose _The Exagggerations of Peter Prince_ is *the* Avant-Pop novel par excellence).

All that near-hypertextual aesthetics of trash, the broken-backed sentences, the high-grade anger, the mind-bending exploration of and delight in taboo, the extravagant pla(y)giarism, the lollapalooza lambasting of plot?

Only then, when you went back and reread it, you realized that the language somehow seemed more transparent the second time around.

Are television shows like Max Headroom, the early Saturday Night Live, or David Lynch's recent Twin Peaks 'underground' works because they utilize so many features associated with postmodern innovation---or 'pop art' because they were, in fact, 'merely' television shows?

" --Larry Mc Caffery, "The Avant-Pop Phenomenon," in ANQ 5.4 (October 1992): 216.

Similar to cyberpunk, beatnik poetry, Generation X, and every other label you've seen hit the market in the last forty or so years, the Avant-Pop is suddenly appearing everywhere you look, like a new word you've just added to your vocabulary and now see on every page you read, or a new viral strain, one that is the genetically-engineered fusion of these two extremes: 1) the avant-garde's impulse to push the aesthetic envelope, and 2) a specific sensibility's addiction to (and usually ambivalence with) pop culture in all its manifestations--especially electronic realities. Burroughs, Naked Lunch (New York: Grove, 1959): 221"In this book you get such a sense of the reality of the main character that he seems to get off the page and sit down with you on the bus." --Steve Katz, from "Trip," in Moving Parts (Brooklyn: Fiction Collective, 1977): 10"'But our beauty lies,' explained Metzger, 'in this extended capacity for convolution. Murray maintained a prolonged silence, occasionally scrawling some notes in a little book. You sample the parts you like, you lay down a drumtrack! growing up as a kid in America in the fifties, sixties, and seventies provided us with a unique window on the world: the television screen reflecting a vast array of simulated constructs from network TV. What you see as fact may be the next person's fiction.

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