By Sean Homer, Douglas Kellner
Fredric Jameson is without doubt one of the most vital and audacious cultural critics writing at the present time. His paintings affects throughout a number disciplines from literary and cultural stories to movie, sociology and structure. This new number of formerly unpublished serious essays covers the complete corpus of Jameson's paintings: from his preliminary stories of Sartre and dialectical feedback, via his path-breaking paintings at the political subconscious, modernism and postmodernism, to his debatable essays on 3rd global literature, house, structure and Latin American studies.
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Extra resources for Fredric Jameson: A Critical Reader
This is to ignore the dialectical movement of society and key changes in the ‘content’ of social experience. Clearly the historical ‘moment’ of Death in Venice is somewhat different from that of Kafka’s stories or expressionism in the interwar period. The formal devices of critical realism, which still aspire to aesthetic totality as a way of transcending cultural fragmentation, may not offer an adequate response to the historical experience of a developing fascist cultural offensive in the same way as expressionist montage or Brecht’s ‘estrangement effect’.
The Port Huron Statement succinctly captured this contradiction: Our professors and administrators sacrifice controversy to public relations; their curriculums change more slowly than the living events of the world; their skills and silence are purchased by investors in the arms race; passion is called unscholastic. (Hayden, 1971, p. 391) For the signatories of the Port Huron Statement, the university could be seen to occupy a privileged position in relation to other institutions of social change in four key respects.
Jameson’s critique of Sartre in Marxism and Form highlights the necessity of moving beyond the limits of philosophy as well as his earlier study, and grounding Sartre’s literary and political project in history. In this respect Jameson’s political trajectory must also be located within a much broader process of political radicalization, that is to say, the politics of the New left. The New Left Jameson’s formative political experience was marked by two interrelated events, the aftermath of McCarthyism and the emergence of the New Left.
Fredric Jameson: A Critical Reader by Sean Homer, Douglas Kellner