Symbols of an Anti-Postmodern

In short form,

  • Celebration of ancient battles in which a people’s identity was forged (Tours, Salamis, Kosovo, First Manassas).
  • Singing the old songs, be they Slavic or Scottish. In any case, they are obviously superior to what’s on the radio. Yes, even superior to most country music songs.
  • The Icon. The icon is two dimensional and defies an immediate analysis. Indeed, iconism (e.g., most forms of poetry and two-dimensional paintings, murals, and mosaics) has a depth beyond itself. It is not easily deconstructed. Postmodern deconstructionism does a thorough job at showing how reality is merely a mask for power-plays. But the icon–and I can’t really say why at the moment–is not easily deconstructed. Because it is two-dimensional, and that the vanishing point is in front of the picture (not behind it as in regular art), it is…different. It is not simply “looking at a picture,” but looking at the picture who is looking back at me.

    The postmodern’s claim is that all claims to represent reality are marred by violence and power (I wonder if the postmodern’s claim is also marred by ontology and violence? They usually don’t like to be asked that). The icon, however, represents a depth beyond reality–what reality will be in the eschaton (It’s not saying that THIS *is* the reality of heaven, but is attempting to point towards it).

    (Jean-Luc Marion’s God Without Being has an interesting discussion on this.)