The Works of Don DeLillo and Joseph McElroy
III. Conclusion 173
173 III. Conclusion In the introduction to his multi-volume inquiry into The History of Sexuality, Michel Foucault outlines a concept of power which seems to corroborate the dictum that opened this entire discussion on conspiracy fiction; that postmodernism is at its most para- noid when it turns the anthropological gaze inward. Typified by Clifford Geertz on the one hand and Roland Barthes on the other, the gaze of Western scientific traditions is always inextricably tied to the issue of power. For Barthes, it is the power to replace the hidden truth about the world we live in with the subject's affirmation of autonomy. This call for individual empowerment, counterbalanced by Geertz's comparably modest request for a better understanding of ourselves through the encounter with another culture, can be heard as a faint echo in Foucault's writing whenever he addresses the insidiousness and ubiquity of power. I Although Foucault's model of power is based, as the title of the unfinished series of studies indicates, on an analysis of sexuality rather than the more specific social and discursive practices of conspiracy fiction, it seems to share one fundamental notion about conspiracy with all fiction discussed in the preceding pages. Sexuality, like conspiracy, is as ubiquitous as narrative itself. At first glance, both sexuality and conspiracy appear safely removed from the more "sane," "mainstream," or "normal" discursive practices revolving around the facilitation of power, such as the discourses on politics, medicine, law, economics, historiography, and so forth. When sexuality and conspiracy cross over...
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