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In case any of you were not aware of it before, the texts that have been reprinted in this space from time to time are computer-generated cutups of other, pre-existing texts. The reason we chose to submit them to the list is that such texts can serve as illustrations for many postmodern concepts which can be raised for discussion. For example, does a piece of text such as above constitute a "work"? If so, does it have one, two, three, or no "authors?" Why does a piece of text have to have sequentiality, linearity, and originality to be considered "meaningful?" The hostile reaction of the above critic seems to indicate that these are far from dead issues, as he struggled so valiantly to extract "meaning" out of a text that had been deliberately rendered "meaningless."

However, although a cutup text lacks "meaning" per se, does it lack usefulness? The random juxtapositions of phrase in the above article and the cutup of the Postmodern Culture article MCCARTHY 592 that we submitted earlier struck us as not only amusing, but critical and artistic.

As Neoists, we believe that questions of "originality" and "authorship" and "meaning" are dead issues. The essence of the new art and literature is plagiarism, as the Kathy Acker story from an earlier issue of Postmodern Culture illustrated so well. The recycling, rearranging, reprocessing and reusing of multiplicity of cultural signs that are shoved at us every day through the media is the only art form left that is relevant for the postmodern age, a fact that has been widely bandied about but largely ignored since the days of the Cabaret Voltaire. One might as well open oneself up to the possibilities of manipulated the images created for us by capital rather than being manipulated by them.

Virtually yours, Karen Eliot Monty Cantsin

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