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Modernism under Review: Fredric Jameson's The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act (1981)

Modernism under Review: Fredric Jameson's The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially... <jats:p> Fredric Jameson's seminal text The Political Unconscious is one of the great works of post-war critical theory. It launched a materialist cultural studies in American university humanities departments and beyond. Its mandarin Marxism adapted the ‘Late Marxism’ of Lukács, Bloch, Adorno and others for the academy and for the post-modern era, focussing on Marxism's singular capacity to offer a total reading of an artwork. It also implicitly faces Marxism off against a wave of French theory that was new when the book was written, especially those theories of power being developed by Foucault and Deleuze. This essay makes the case that Jameson's book gives us a Deleuzian Marxism avant la lettre, and that the book should be reread with care now, when eco-critique has embraced a Deleuzianism that needs the heft of a class politics. </jats:p> http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Modernist Cultures Edinburgh University Press

Modernism under Review: Fredric Jameson's The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act (1981)

Modernist Cultures , Volume 11 (2): 143 – Jul 1, 2016

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Publisher
Edinburgh University Press
Copyright
© Edinburgh University Press 2016
Subject
Articles; Film, Media and Cultural Studies
ISSN
2041-1022
eISSN
1753-8629
DOI
10.3366/mod.2016.0132
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

<jats:p> Fredric Jameson's seminal text The Political Unconscious is one of the great works of post-war critical theory. It launched a materialist cultural studies in American university humanities departments and beyond. Its mandarin Marxism adapted the ‘Late Marxism’ of Lukács, Bloch, Adorno and others for the academy and for the post-modern era, focussing on Marxism's singular capacity to offer a total reading of an artwork. It also implicitly faces Marxism off against a wave of French theory that was new when the book was written, especially those theories of power being developed by Foucault and Deleuze. This essay makes the case that Jameson's book gives us a Deleuzian Marxism avant la lettre, and that the book should be reread with care now, when eco-critique has embraced a Deleuzianism that needs the heft of a class politics. </jats:p>

Journal

Modernist CulturesEdinburgh University Press

Published: Jul 1, 2016

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