City Petrichor, Big Sur, and Moral Relativism in Post Postmodernism

post postmodernism
Kerouac's Big Sur Cabin.

Today when I told Tim about hating, he said he doesn’t hate people the way I do, which may be for a second or five or minutes or even almost whenever I see them, he hates chance, the way things happen for him. Like when he’s walking behind someone, he doesn’t hate that person, he hates the fact that he’s walking behind them.

Ah, it smells of city petrichor, a word which this computer doesn’t recognize and probably you won’t either, but which is certainly worth knowing, a fine word it is.

I still have about sixty pages left of Big Sur, but I’m already tempted to say it’s a better novel than On the Road, although it certainly isn’t as important.

Cecil’s been kind enough to refer me to some Guardian (one of the publications I most esteem) articles about postmodernism and that damn postmodernism retrospective at the V&A I wish I could go see. So there was a line in the last one about “values eternal and relative.” Which totally makes sense, with the “hyper-specific” nature of the internet and blogs. These “relative” values, which David Brooks recently op-eded about re moral relativism and how people in our generation have no real conception of right or wrong…which is true, mostly, except we all deep down know what is right and wrong even though it’s probably not conscious. That’s what I’m curious about. A hundred years after Freud. Let’s get back to subconscious and unconscious feelings and why they make us who we are. I’m gonna do it in a post postmodern novel very confrontationally.

By Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel Adler writes fiction and nonfiction and is finishing his MFA at University of South Carolina.

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