In Heidegger and “the Jews” Jean-François Lyotard addresses the crisis of epistemology and representation after “the disaster,” interrogating the collapse of what he calls “the architectonics of reason:” “It is impossible to build anything whatsoever from or on this debris. All one can do is thread one’s way through it, slip and slide through the ruins, listen to the complaints that emanate from them.” Citing Walter Benjamin and Theodore Adorno, Lyotard continues: “Philosophy as architecture is ruined, but a writing of the ruins, micrologies, graffiti can still be done” (43). In Cinema After Fascism, it has been my project to, as Lyotard suggests, “slip and slide” through some of the epistemological ruin, to explore the “graffiti,” the always provisional, chaotic, and profoundly self-reflexive ways in which desire and subjectivity are inscribed in the universe of epistemological ruin that we, the postwar, postfascist, and post-Holocaust film spectator must negotiate. My discussion in Cinema After Fascism has focused detailed attention on a few films, attempting both to engage them closely on a textual level and to situate them in dialogue with each other and with a complex spectrum of ideological, historiographic, or aesthetic discourses. In this afterword, I would like to consider some of the broader meanings implicit in the title Cinema After Fascism.
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