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{Thursday}

 
SPOOKS IN (postmodern) SPACE

"[...]
Just as many informants who happened to be actors or artists willingly and gladly provided whatever information they could provide. Some of them did it out of a sense of patriotism and duty; others did it because they just loved being involved in the intrigue. It was another stage to act upon, another canvas upon which to create an impression, another image or story to circulate. It was a wrapping of truth within something novel and packaging it as "fiction," or "surrealist," or "avant-garde," and it all occured within a world where those labels afforded plausible deniability and yet at the same time fed the public's insatiable imagination for making the lie and the truth seem increasingly interchangeable. It was the birth of the postmodern and the death of belief in any grand historical narrative, but scholars have largely failed to see how the intelligence community was implicated in it."

H.L. Goodall Jr.
A NEED TO KNOW: The Clandestine History of a CIA FAmily.
[Left Coast Press/Berg]

posted by Ian 6/01/2006 12:25:00 PM

Comments:
typical US lefty parochialism to imagine that the CIA invented this of course --- who killed christopher marlowe; at the very least cf enzensberger's essay "dreamers of the absolute", which (partially) nails the tsarist secret police's role in fomenting their own regime's overthrow

why is it, as soon as you read the word "postmodern" (pro or con) you KNOW you're going to be slapped with some piece of ahistorical smugness?

(sorry ian, not aimed at you, but this particular trope is old old old, there's nothing "postmodern" about it) (well, naturally, because there's nothing "postmodern" about anything)

word of power = qpxnqkr
 
also cf kipling's kim! (for whom kim philby was named!) in fact you could probably read edward said's entire orientalism as a tale of intellectual-cultural spookism, in which the oddball scholars of material beyond the edge of empire functioned as two-way conduits of secret discursive power (or something) (i'm thinking of richard burton learning arabic to enter the secret city and a. report back, b.have loads of qweird sex, though actually burton may not feature in orientalism -- it's ages since a read it

two-way conduit of secret discursive power: vtbauufc

(why is there a little wheechair symbol by the codeword?)
 
it's a really interesting book tho - about what it was like to be in a CIA 'family' - and specifically the toll it took on his mother. coincidentally kim philby plays an absolutely central role in the book's real life drama, and an inadvertant part in the father's 'downfall' (terminal downgrading, reposting) within the CIA; specifically because his father was RIGHT about philby, ,but that this jarred with - angleton? colby? colby i think...

maybe the wheelchair denotes Evil Genius (persian cat bald head and monocle all optional)... ?
 
yes, i got a wheel chair insignia too - either this means my comments box is a real toilet, or that something or other has been (or is about to be?) 'disabled'?
 
just by the by, mark, later on in the book, goodall does actually go into that stuff about philby and kipling himself...
 
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