What vital premonitions-- crucial evasions-- were barely noticed then-- and now. For example, if the crises since 2008 (or even 1997) suggest "the end" of Globalism and Neoliberalism-- in ways that resemble the comic foreboding (and paramnesia) right before the French Revolution, the First World War, the endless and ominous recessions of the 1970's-- then how should we, as writers, scholars, artists, and critics, retrain ourselves? Norman Klein is an expert on how collective forgetting operates. For the past twelve years, he has been working on four projects set in different eras that stood blindly on the eve of a massive transformation. As he writes in his most recent book, "the future can only be told in reverse." As of October, 2016, we face a catastrophe in labor conditions, in the nation state, in the modes of capitalism. Our multilayered shock is perversely similar to what these earlier moments faced (or refused to notice).
To complete these projects, Klein has developed an archaeology for decoding how premonitions manifest themselves at large-- how the frenzied entropy right before a colossal shock works its way through a culture (its politics, its entertainment, its caricatures, its attitudes toward the body, its self-destructive worship of inequality and non-planning). As many writers have pointed out in the past, every era "thinks" that it is surviving after the end of the world-- and some clearly are doing just that, after a war, for example. But more often, the world ends like a noise in then night. One wakes up slowly; cannot somehow rise to clarity of vision. More often, we find ourselves in the unlikely morning after. Once again, we are caught in a foolhardy and very human picaresque. We hear a strange wind a miles away, but can't identify precisely where it is. Please join Norman as he takes us through the archaeology (the traces) of paramnesiac patterns today; and what forces, what surprising models lay just below.