Postmodernism - Amok
Running amok, sometimes referred to as simply amok (also spelled amuck or amuk), is derived from the Malay word amuk, meaning "mad with rage" (uncontrollable rage). Although commonly used in a colloquial and less-violent sense, the phrase is particularly associated with a specific sociopathic culture-bound syndrome in Malaysian culture. In a typical case of running amok, a male who has shown no previous sign of anger or any inclination to violence will acquire a weapon and, in a sudden frenzy, will attempt to kill or seriously injure anyone he encounters. Amok episodes of this kind normally end with the attacker being killed by bystanders, or committing suicide.(wikipedia)
So there is this article in the Feb 11 New Yorker talking about a murder case in Poland. The story is a bit like the plot of Basic Instinct. An unsolved murder. A connection is made to a writer, Krystian Bala, who happens to write a sadistic, violent book, Amock, with events strikingly similar to real life. The writer is a bit of a boundary tester, a philosopher, an anti-establishment figure.
What struck me as ironic about this story is that this Bala guy fancied himself quite the postmodernist - he was very clever, all Derrida and Foucalt. What does anything mean, blah, blah, blah... Until he was sitting in a cage in the courtroom and the prosecution was using postmodernism against him. "The author has no more clue about the text than anyone else." Boy, did he flip out when he heard that statement. He was screaming "Bullshit - I am the author, I knew what I meant when I wrote it!" (I'm paraphrasing)
I guess a murder trial is a good test of the strength of one's convictions... ;)