Hauntology YKTTW Discussion

Dwelling with spectres of the past, we become nostalgic for the future.
(permanent link) added: 2011-08-23 20:30:27 sponsor: dogboner (last reply: 2012-03-05 17:51:30)

Add Tag:
The word "hauntology" was first coined by Jacques Derrida in his 1993 book Specters of Marx: The State of the Debt, the Work of Mourning & the New International, where he postulated that the unrealized utopias of defeated ideology will continue to haunt present civilization like spectres, never born, never given shape to be destroyed. The present is historicized beset upon by ghosts of the past which cannot be reasoned away. Under invasion from the past, the notion of "now" becomes vulnerable and is robbed of importance.

In the hollows between between thought and history and experience and hope dwell these spectres. History haunts ideology. Ideology haunts history. Utopia haunts reality. Reality haunts utopia. Theory haunts practice. Practice haunts theory. Experience is beset upon from all sides.

Hauntology denies the stability of retro aesthetic by denying a reference point of now. ShaNaNa's style was dated when they came onto the scene but ArcticMonkeys sound connects to the present despite their appearance being seperated from ThePolice by four more years than the gap between BuddyHolly and RunDMC.


  • Bioshock not only takes place more than forty years before the game's release but sets the main character invading a utopia that was never actualized, and the story is experienced primarily through collecting records from the past with player action revolving around resolving these spectres.

  • Portal2's main character is a hotshot engineer/businessman from the 1960s with a cowboy attitude and NASA contracts, while the player character is a silent observer with a gun that lets her walk through walls.

Western Animation
  • VentureBros depicts tech largely developed by Rusty's dad.

Replies: 12