Lamarre suggests that the essays to follow there are 18 will unfold a general theoretical premise following from Foucault's analysis of the various productive discourses of war : 'war and everyday life are inseparable, and both our daily time or temporality and our historical moment are conditioned in war' xi.
Lamarre's proposal is fascinating, not least because his premise is somewhat elusive: what precisely are the conditions of a temporality of war?
Mechademia Vol. 4 cover illo
How does war act as a 'control on the everyday time of orderly social productivity' xi? While Lamarre does not unfold the various philosophical resonances in the notion of the temporality of war, as such, it is hard not to hear a latent Heideggerianism at work here, one that suggests that to be, in contemporary Japan, is to be towards war, war determining the very parameters, limits and boundaries of cultural and subjective ontology and possibility.
But Lamarre is more specific: he suggests that to understand the cultural productions of contemporary Japan one must analyse, interrogate and perhaps inhabit the space between the discourses of war and time: 'here, too, we see an analytic effort to insert a gap between war and temporality, between military destruction and everyday life' xiii. The questions that naturally follow from the Preface are these: will the essays making up this volume - essays analysing contemporary literature, film, digital games and manga - fulfil the promise of Lamarre's theoretical introduction?
Will they unfold an analysis of the idea of temporality itself being conditioned by the reality imagined or otherwise of war? Each essay does make reference to an idea of war or, to be more precise, some idea of violence, not necessarily militaristic , but only a relative few engage in sustained meditations on the idea of war temporality in any real philosophical sense.
War/time / Frenchy Lunning, editor. - Version details - Trove
Given that Lamarre's Preface does suggest a fascinating, if latent, philosophical understanding of being and war time, it is a shame, indeed a very real lost opportunity, that all the essays do not take up the idea that an understanding of time is itself conditioned by the general economy of war as such. Gavin Walker, Mark Anderson and Michael Fisch all have produced engaging, thoughtful and philosophically nuanced analyses of their chosen cultural objects.
Walker suggests, in his reading of this technically revolutionary digital film, that Makoto's manipulation of historical reality his film offers an alternate vision of contemporary Japan creates an overwhelming sense of nostalgia for a possible future; the complex psychological temporality of the film - a film latently 'about' Japan's colonial past - offers itself as a sort of allegory of the postcolonial situation.
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Mechademia 4: War/Time
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Mechademia 4 Wartime
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