The Political Unconscious

Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act

Author: Fredric Jameson

Publisher: Cornell University Press

ISBN: 0801471567

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 320

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Fredric Jameson, in The Political Unconscious, opposes the view that literary creation can take place in isolation from its political context. He asserts the priority of the political interpretation of literary texts, claiming it to be at the center of all reading and understanding, not just a supplement or auxiliary to other methods current today. Jameson supports his thesis by looking closely at the nature of interpretation. Our understanding, he says, is colored by the concepts and categories that we inherit from our culture's interpretive tradition and that we use to comprehend what we read. How then can the literature of other ages be understood by readers from a present that is culturally so different from the past? Marxism lies at the foundation of Jameson's answer, because it conceives of history as a single collective narrative that links past and present; Marxist literary criticism reveals the unity of that uninterrupted narrative. Jameson applies his interpretive theory to nineteenth- and twentieth-century texts, including the works of Balzac, Gissing, and Conrad. Throughout, he considers other interpretive approaches to the works he discusses, assessing the importance and limitations of methods as different as Lacanian psychoanalysis, semiotics, dialectical analysis, and allegorical readings. The book as a whole raises directly issues that have been only implicit in Jameson's earlier work, namely the relationship between dialectics and structuralism, and the tension between the German and the French aesthetic traditions. The Political Unconscious is a masterly introduction to both the method and the practice of Marxist criticism. Defining a mode of criticism and applying it successfully to individual works, it bridges the gap between theoretical speculation and textual analysis.

Democracy and the Political Unconscious

Author: Noëlle McAfee

Publisher: Columbia University Press

ISBN: 0231511124

Category: Philosophy

Page: 256

View: 7018

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Political philosopher Noëlle McAfee proposes a powerful new political theory for our post-9/11 world, in which an old pathology-the repetition compulsion-has manifested itself in a seemingly endless war on terror. McAfee argues that the quintessentially human desire to participate in a world with others is the key to understanding the public sphere and to creating a more democratic society, a world that all members can have a hand in shaping. But when some are effectively denied this participation, whether through trauma or terror, instead of democratic politics, there arises a political unconscious, an effect of desires unarticulated, failures to sublimate, voices kept silent, and repression reenacted. Not only is this condition undemocratic and unjust, it may lead to further trauma. Unless its troubles are worked through, a political community risks continual repetition and even self-destruction. McAfee deftly weaves together her experience as an observer of democratic life with an array of intellectual schemas, from poststructural psychoanalysis to Rawlsian and Habermasian democratic theories, as well as semiotics, civic republicanism, and American pragmatism. She begins with an analysis of the traumatic effects of silencing members of a political community. Then she explores the potential of deliberative dialogue and other "talking cures" and public testimonies, such as the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to help societies work through, rather than continually act out, their conflicts. Democracy and the Political Unconscious is rich in theoretical insights, but it is also grounded in the practical problems of those who are trying to process the traumas of oppression, terror, and brutality and create more decent and democratic societies. Drawing on a breathtaking range of theoretical frameworks and empirical observations, Democracy and the Political Unconscious charts a course for democratic transformation in a world sorely lacking in democratic practice.

Tribal Warfare

Survivor and the Political Unconscious of Reality Television

Author: Christopher J. Wright

Publisher: Lexington Books

ISBN: 9780739111666

Category: Performing Arts

Page: 196

View: 2177

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The first book to explore the premise of "Survivor as society," this work serves as both an analysis of a popular television program and a highly-readable primer for those new to critical theory."--BOOK JACKET.

The Political Unconscious of Architecture

Re-opening Jameson's Narrative

Author: Nadir Lahiji

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317020685

Category: Architecture

Page: 352

View: 9545

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Thirty years have passed since eminent cultural and literary critic Fredric Jameson wrote his classic work, The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act, in which he insisted that 'there is nothing that is not social and historical - indeed, that everything is "in the last analysis" political'. Bringing together a team of leading scholars including Slavoj Zizek, Joan Ockman, Jane Rendell, and Kojin Karatani, this book critically examines the important contribution made by Jameson to the radical critique of architecture over this period, highlighting its continued importance to contemporary architecture discourse. Jameson's notion of the 'political unconscious' represents one of the most powerful notions in the link between aesthetics and politics in contemporary discourse. Taking this, along with other key concepts from Jameson, as the basis for its chapters, this anthology asks questions such as: Is architecture a place to stage 'class struggle'?, How can architecture act against the conditions that 'affirmatively' produce it? What does 'the critical', and 'the negative', mean in the discourse of architecture? and, How do we prevent architecture from participating in the reproduction of the cultural logic of late capitalism? This book breaks new ground in architectural criticism and offers insights into the interrelationships between politics, culture, space, and architecture and, in doing so, it acts as a counter-balast to the current trend in architectural research where a general aestheticization dominates the discourse.

The Political Unconscious

Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act

Author: Fredric Jameson

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 0415045142

Category: Communism and literature

Page: 305

View: 8543

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‘Every now and then a book appears which is literally ahead of its time ... The Political Unconsciousis 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 Unconscioustakes its place as one of the most meaningful works of the twentieth century. First published: 1983.

Jameson, Althusser, Marx

An Introduction to 'the Political Unconscious'

Author: William C. Dowling

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9781138900622

Category:

Page: 150

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Frederic Jameson is widely regarded as one of the most original and influential Marxist critics of the last decades. His most controversial work, The Political Unconscious, had an enormous impact on literary criticism and cultural studies. In Jameson, Althusser, Marx, first published in 1984, Professor Dowling sets out to provide the intellectual background needed for an understanding of Jameson's argument and its broader implications. He elucidates the unspoken assumptions that are the foundation of Jameson's thought - assumptions about how the nature of language, of interpretation and of culture - and shows how Jameson attempts to subsume in an expanded Marxism the critical theories of Derrida, Foucault, Deleuze, Lacan and of structuralism and poststructuralism in general. This lively, concise book will be welcomed by anyone interested in current theoretical debates, in Marxist criticism, and in the wide-ranging implications of Marxist cultural theory for the social sciences, the arts and the study of history.

The Political Unconscious of the Fantasy Sub-genre of Romance

Author: Patrick R. Burger

Publisher: N.A

ISBN: 9780773476318

Category: Fiction

Page: 140

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This work examines the social and historical contexts of the influential stories: The Wood Beyond the World; The Lord of the Rings; and The Mists of Avalon. It argues that all stories are the product of their historical, political, and cultural moments, and in seeking to prove this conviction the author provides such a context for fantasy itself, situating its roots in the medieval romance form and tracing the form's development. The book provides a revisionary examination of modern fantasy that demonstrates the genre's ongoing political and social relevance even (or especially) in the face of contemporary Western culture's technological reality.

Fredric Jameson

Marxism, Hermeneutics, Postmodernism

Author: Sean Homer

Publisher: John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0745677495

Category: Social Science

Page: 228

View: 1257

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This is the first comprehensive analysis of the work of Fredric Jameson, one of the most important cultural critics writing today. Homer provides a clear exposition and appraisal of Jameson's theories and an assessment of his contribution to contemporary cultural theory.

Compromise Formations

Current Directions in Psychoanalytic Criticism

Author: Kent State University. Center for Literature and Psychoanalysis

Publisher: Kent State University Press

ISBN: 9780873383813

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 252

View: 7697

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These essays are collected from the Fourth International Conference on Literature and Psychology held at Kent State University, 7-9 August 1987. In selecting the essays for this first collection to emerge from the varied conferences now being sponsored by the Kent State University Center for Literature and Psychoanalysis, Vera Camden has brought together representative contributions from two major contemporary schools of psychoanalytic criticism: object relations and Lacanian theory. These essays define the questions which emerge when both schools are brought into the kind of association engendered by this conference, offering not so much a resolution to opposing positions as a fuller articulation of the space each occupies and a fluidity of discussion which has characterized psychoanalysis since Freud's earliest discoveries. Each contributor is concerned with the place of the unconscious in the determination of the human subject and its representations. Whether the approach is primarily clinical or literary, each identifies and analyzes the anguish of the incomplete self--a sell which looks to construct, identify, regain, or even deny meaning. A crucial difference emerges among these authors as to how the experience of human alienation and the quest for identify is to be analyzed. Some would suggest, after Jacques Lacan, that the task of analysis is to recognize the illusion of the unitary self and to reconcile the individual to that state. Others would contend the task of analysis is to recover, by the transference relationship, the lost unity missing in childhood and reflect in adult object-relations. These essays range from clinical perspectives in psychosis and creativity to critical readings of Joyce and Shakespeare to recent applications of brain research to traditional psychoanalytic notions of the human subject. The richness and variety in this collection bear witness to the continuing impact of psychoanalysis on literary and cultural studies.

Sinologism

An Alternative to Orientalism and Postcolonialism

Author: Ming Dong Gu

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 0415626544

Category: POLITICAL SCIENCE

Page: 269

View: 5409

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Why, for centuries, have the West and the world continuously produced China knowledge that deviates from Chinese realities? Why, since the mid-nineteenth century, have Chinese intellectuals oscillated between commendation and condemnation of their own culture, and between fetishization and demonization of all things Western? And why have some of the world’s wisest thinkers expressed opinions on Chinese culture, which are simply wrong? In order to answer these questions, this book explores the process of knowledge production about China and the Chinese civilization and in turn, provides a critique of the ways in which this knowledge is formed. Ming Dong Gu argues that the misperceptions and misinterpretations surrounding China and the Chinese civilisation do not simply come from misinformation, biases, prejudices, or political interference, but follow certain taken-for-granted principles that have evolved into a cultural unconscious. Indeed, Gu argues that the conflicting accounts in China-West studies are the inevitable outcome of this cultural unconscious which constitutes the inner logic of a comprehensive knowledge system which he terms ‘Sinologism’. This book explores Sinologism’s origin, development, characteristics, and inner logic, and critiques its manifestations in the writings of Chinese, Western, and non-Western thinkers and scholars, including Montesquieu, Herder, Hegel, Marx, Weber, Russell, Pound, Wang Guowei, Guo Moruo, Gu Jiegang, Wen Yiduo, and many others in diverse disciplines from arts and humanities to social sciences. In doing so, Gu demonstrates why the existing critical models are inadequate for Chinese materials and makes an attempt to construct an alternative theory to Orientalism and postcolonialism for China-West studies and cross-cultural studies. Sinologismcrosses over the subjects of history, thought, literature, language, art, archaeology, religion, aesthetics and cultural theory, and will appeal to students and scholars of East-West studies with a particular focus on China, as well as those interested in cultural theory more broadly.

Fredric Jameson: Live Theory

Author: Ian Buchanan

Publisher: A&C Black

ISBN: 082649109X

Category: Philosophy

Page: 140

View: 880

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Widely regarded as one of America's most important cultural theorists, Fredric Jameson has been at the forefront of the field of literary and cultural studies since the early 1970s. This book offers an introduction to the work of this important thinker. It provides an account of Jameson's important contributions to Critical Theory.

The New Social Theory Reader

Contemporary Debates

Author: Steven Seidman,Jeffrey C. Alexander

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 9780415188074

Category: Social Science

Page: 409

View: 1095

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This comprehensive reader provides students and academics with access to the writers and perspectives that are shaping some of the most exciting social thinking today, with the editors placing key figures in lively debate with each other. The first section sets out some of the main schools of thought, including Habermas and Honneth on New Critical Theory, Jameson and Hall on Cultural Studies, and Foucault and Laclau and Mouffe on poststructuralism. The sections that follow trace theory debates as they become more issues-based and engaged, looking at: concepts such as justice and truth the social meaning of nationalism, multiculturalism, globalization identity debates around gender, sexuality, race, post-coloniality. This carefully selected collection of articles has been fine tuned to ensure readers have the right selection in the best structure to get to grips with the recent dramatic shift in the nature of social theory

Fredric Jameson

Author: Adam Charles Roberts

Publisher: Psychology Press

ISBN: 9780415215220

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 164

View: 5371

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Widely recognised as one of today's most important cultural critics, Adam Roberts offers an engaging introduction to this crucial figure, which will convince any student of contemporary theory that Jameson must be read.