After speculation that the dialectic is as yet unrealized, a kind of "unfinished project," three areas in which the dialectic remains alive are outlined: 1) in reflexivity, in which the theory of ideology demands to be confronted with the contemporary theory and experience of "multiple subject positions"; 2) in historiography, in which the dialectic is not a philosophical position but a critical operation performed on traditional historical narrative; and, finally, 3) in contradiction, a structure the dialectic does not posit, but (...) causes to emerge and to become visible in familiar and seemingly unproblematical situations. (shrink)
Fredric Jameson is generally considered to be one of the foremost contemporary Englishlanguage Marxist literary and cultural critics. Over the past three decades, he has published a wide range of works analyzing literary and cultural texts, while developing his own neo-Marxist theoretical perspectives. In addition, Jameson produced many important critiques of opposing theoretical schools and positions. A prolific writer, he has assimilated an astonishing number of theoretical discourses into his project, while intervening in many contemporary debates and analyzing a (...) diversity of cultural texts, ranging from the novel to video, and from fairy tales to postmodernism. (shrink)
Incorporating a diverse and eclectic range of theory and cultural forms, both Fredric Jameson and Slavoj Žižek have persistently foregrounded Marxist questions of ideology, totality and utopia at points where they seem unfashionable and outmoded. As a phrase attributable to both thinkers, Jameson and Žižek share a commitment to writing in and against a time where it has become “easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism.” Broadly speaking, in terms of a shared politics, (...) both advocate seeing the system whole and keeping open the possibility of an “outside” to capitalism... There are, however, some significant differences between Jameson and Žižek that should not be overlooked. (shrink)
It is most tempting to think of Fredric Jamesons Archaeologies of the Future in utopian terms, as a contribution to the history of utopian philosophy represented by Theodor Adorno, Louis Marin and Herbert Mar- cuse, if not Hegel, Marx and Jameson himself. To trace the line of utopian ideas in their works is to be seduced by Jamesons own project, which has, 1 since Marxism and Form , mapped the utopian continuities that exist between an assortment of Marxist writers. (...) Marxism and Form stands as a seminal beginning to Jamesons utopian project, introducing the work of un- 2 translated German writers, including Walter Benjamin and Herbert Marcuse, to a generation of Anglophonic scholars. One reviewer went so far as to recommend the book to English-speaking Germans to clear up the muddy phrases of Gyorgy LukÆcs and Ernst Bloch, claiming that Jameson presented a much more articulate version of their ideas! There is no better demonstration of the recognition effected upon the Marxist corpus by 3 Jamesons intellectual clarity than the conclusion to Aesthetics and Politics , in which the hostility between LukÆcs and Bloch is transformed into two sides of the same politics. Indeed, the very meaning of Jamesons Marxism comes about from just such theoretical sublimations as these, as 4 disparate European projects are unified both intellectually and politically. The sheer synthetic power of Jamesons writing makes it difficult to think about his writing in terms that arent Jamesonian, the range of his project transforming Marxist literary criticism into a totality. (shrink)
The Italian architectural historian Manfredo Tafuri developed a distinctive Marxist approach of critical analysis, which has prompted extensive responses. The reception of his work in the United States in the 1970s and 80s – the intervention of Fredric Jameson, especially – forms an important moment of historiographical mutation, in which the status of Tafuri’s politics holds an intriguing place: it was eviscerated in the very act of its affirmation. At stake is not simply the problems attending the transatlantic migration (...) of a body of architectural theory, but also a question lying at the heart of Tafuri’s analysis: the problems of achieving social reforms, above all, in ‘working-class housing’. The difficulties encountered by projects to improve accommodation – from Weimar Germany and Red Vienna in the 1920s to the programmes of postwar Italy – provide the concrete material for Tafuri’s analysis while remaining a significant blind-spot within most of the commentary. Tafuri is here reappraised in the light of the political debates over the ‘neorealist architecture’ of the 1950s and the reform-policies of the Italian centre-Left in the early 1960s. Proceeding as if this formative moment never happened, Tafuri’s critics often engage in debates which confuse his critique of the building projects with political despair, and which appeal to enclave-building despite Tafuri’s explicit questioning of such strategies. (shrink)
ExcerptMore than six hundred not entirely new pages from Fredric Jameson is an occasion that provides something for almost everyone. In Valences of the Dialectic, philosophers, all sorts of theorists (political, literary, social), historians, and even people with activist inclinations (for is not Marxism a type of praxis?) will discover rich provocations. By my count a little more than half of the book is new material; the rest is a varied set of articles brought together here to give greater (...) breadth to Jameson's long engagement with dialectical thought. Valences is not the culmination of that engagement, but rather Jameson keeping…. (shrink)
Este trabajo esboza una forma de justificar el principio estructurador central de una teoría veritista de la evaluación epistémica, en respuesta a críticas planteadas por Eleonora Cresto a mi defensa del veritismo frente a una serie de objeciones en el sentido de que no es capaz de explicar la naturaleza y el valor del entendimiento. La primera sección presenta el esbozo de justificación del núcleo de una teoría veritista; la segunda responde a críticas más específicas de Cresto. This paper sketches (...) a way to justify the central tenet of a veritistic theory of epistemic evaluation, in response to problems raised by Eleonora Cresto concerning my defense of veritism, against a series of objetions to the effect that veritistic epistemology is uncapable of explaining the nature and value of understanding. The first section presents the sketch of justification of the nucleus of a veritistic theory, the second responds to some of Cresto's more specific criticisms. (shrink)
Reviews : Fredric Jameson, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism ; Margaret Rose, The Post-Modern and the Post-Industrial ; Alex Callinicos, Against Postmodernism: A Marxist Critique.
This article is a response to Fredric Jameson's criticisms of the author's 'The History of Theory'. For Jameson's article, 'How Not to Historicise Theory', see Critical Inquiry, 34, Spring 2008. The author situates Jameson's arguments in the context of the historicisation of theory, treating them as an example of the theoretical program to think the historical determinations of thought. It is argued that this program is an instrument for the formation of the privileged intellectual persona of the theorist.
In this ground-breaking and influential study Fredric Jameson explores the complex place and function of literature within culture. At the time Jameson was actually writing the book, in the mid to late seventies, there was a major reaction against deconstruction and poststructuralism. As one of the most significant literary theorists, Jameson found himself in the unenviable position of wanting to defend his intellectual past yet keep an eye on the future. With this book he carried it off beautifully. A (...) landmark publication, The Political Unconscious takes its place as one of the most meaningful works of the twentieth century.century. (shrink)
After half a century exploring dialectical thought, renowned cultural critic Fredric Jameson presents a comprehensive study of a misrepresented, vital strain in Western philosophy. The dialectic, the concept of the evolution of an idea through internal contradiction and conflict, transformed two centuries of Western philosophy. To Hegel, who dominated nineteenth-century thought, it was a metaphysical system. In the works of Marx, the dialectic became a tool for materialist historical analysis, a theoretical maneuver that his critics derided and his descendants (...) on the Left have wrestled with ever since. Jameson brings a theoretical scrutiny to bear on the questions that have arisen in the history of this philosophical tradition, contextualizing the debate with essays on commodification and globalization, and with reference to the work of Rousseau, Fichte, Heidegger, Sartre, Derrida, and Lacan. Through rigorous, erudite examination, Valences of the Dialectic charts a movement toward the innovation of a "spatial" dialectic, culminating in a remarkable meditation on globalization, through a study of Paul Ricoeur. Jameson presents a new synthesis of thought that revitalizes dialectical thinking for the twenty-first century. (shrink)
Do you see now why it feels so good to be a critical mind? Why critique, this most ambiguous pharmakon, has become such a potent euphoric drug? You are always right! When naïve believers are clinging forcefully to their objects... you can turn all of those attachments into so many fetishes and humiliate all the believers by showing that it is nothing but their own projection, that you, yes you alone, can see. But as soon as naïve believers are thus (...) inflated by some belief in their own importance, in their own projective capacity, you strike them by a second uppercut and humiliate them again, this time by showing that, whatever they think, their behavior is entirely determined by the action of powerful causalities coming from objective reality they don't see, but that you, yes you, the never sleeping critic, alone can see. Isn't this fabulous? Isn't it really worth going to graduate school to study critique? (shrink)
In this ground-breaking and influential study Fredric Jameson explores the complex place and function of literature within culture. At the time Jameson was actually writing the book, in the mid to late seventies, there was a major reaction against deconstruction and poststructuralism. As one of the most significant literary theorists, Jameson found himself in the unenviable position of wanting to defend his intellectual past yet keep an eye on the future. With this book he carried it off beautifully. A (...) landmark publication, _The Political Unconscious_ takes its place as one of the most meaningful works of the twentieth century.century. (shrink)
_‘Every now and then a book appears which is literally ahead of its time... _The Political Unconscious_ is such a book... it sets new standards of what a classic work is.’_ – Slavoj Zizek In this ground-breaking and influential study, Fredric Jameson explores the complex place and function of literature within culture. A landmark publication, _The Political Unconscious_ takes its place as one of the most meaningful works of the twentieth century. _First published: 1983._.
However this may be, it is clear that the rhetoric of the self in American criticism will no longer do, any more than its accompanying interpretative codes of identity crises and mythic reintegration, and that a post-individualistic age needs new and post-individualistic categories for grasping both the production and the evolution of literary form as well as the semantic content of the literary text and the latter's relationship to collective experience and to ideological contradiction. What is paradoxical about Burke's own (...) critical practice in this respect is that he has anticipated many of the fundamental objections to such a rhetoric of self and identity at the same time that he may be counted among its founding fathers: this last and most important of what we have called his "strategies of containment" provides insights which testify against his own official practice. Witness, for example, the following exchange, in which Burke attributes this imaginary objection to his Marxist critics: "Identity is itself a 'mystification.' Hence, resenting its many labyrinthine aspects, we tend to call even the study of it a 'mystification.'" To this proposition, which is something of a caricature of the point of view of the present essay, Burke gives himself a reply which we may also endorse: "The response would be analogous to the response of those who, suffering from an illness, get 'relief' by quarreling with their doctors. Unless Marxists are ready to deny Marx by attacking his term 'alienation' itself, they must permit of research into the nature of attempts, adequate and inadequate, to combat alienation."1 · 1. Burke, The Philosophy of Literary Form, p. 308. In fact, certain contemporary Marxisms—most notably those of Althusser and of Lucio Coletti—explicitly repudiate the concept of alienation as a Hegelian survival in Marx's early writings. Fredric R. Jameson is the author of The Political Unconscious: Studies in the Ideology of Form. He is also the editor, with Stanley Aronowitz and John Brenkman, of the Social Text. See also: "Methodological Repression and/or Strategies of Containment" by Kenneth Burke in Vol. 5, No. 2. (shrink)