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The Marxist and the Messiah

Terry Eagleton: Snapshots of Benjamin, 9 September 2021

The Benjamin Files 
by Fredric Jameson.
Verso, 262 pp., £20, November 2020, 978 1 78478 398 3
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... FredricJameson points out in this study that Walter Benjamin never wrote a book, or not of a traditional kind. His account of German baroque theatre, translated into English as The Origin of German Tragic Drama, was written in the early 1920s as an academic thesis, though it was later published as a book ...

Into the Big Tent

Benjamin Kunkel: Fredric Jameson, 22 April 2010

Valences of the Dialectic 
by Fredric Jameson.
Verso, 625 pp., £29.99, October 2009, 978 1 85984 877 7
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... Fredric Jameson’s pre-eminence, over the last generation, among critics writing in English would be hard to dispute. Part of the tribute has been exacted by his majestic style, one distinctive feature of which is the way that the convoy of long sentences freighted and balanced with subordinate clauses will dock here and there to unload a pithy slogan ...

Making a Break

Terry Eagleton: Fredric Jameson’s Futures, 9 March 2006

Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions 
by Fredric Jameson.
Verso, 431 pp., £20, September 2005, 1 84467 033 3
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... like a nightmare on the brains of the living. Benjamin was not wholly sceptical of the future, as Fredric Jameson points out in this monumental study. On the contrary, he discerned in it a messianic power to disrupt the present. Even so, he treats it with a certain Judaic wariness: you are forbidden to carve graven images of the future because to do so ...

Report from the Interior

Michael Wood: Fredric Jameson, 9 January 2014

The Antinomies of Realism 
by Fredric Jameson.
Verso, 432 pp., £20, October 2013, 978 1 78168 133 6
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... in relation to any text. I have lingered over this example because it allows a first approach to Fredric Jameson’s admirable new book by means of something other than a gross and helpless summary. (I’ll get to that in a minute.) Jameson thinks of style indirect libre, point of view and various forms of irony as ...

Refugees from the Past

James Meek: Jameson on Chandler, 5 January 2017

Raymond Chandler: The Detections of Totality 
by Fredric Jameson.
Verso, 87 pp., £12.99, July 2016, 978 1 78478 216 0
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... of what America was like in the 1940s and early 1950s. The film is dark and menacing – Fredric Jameson writes that Humphrey Bogart, who plays Marlowe, ‘is distinguished from the other stars of his period in that he is able to show fear’ – but also glamorous, romantic and politically safe. The novels, still widely read yet less ...

How criminals think

John Lanchester, 13 September 1990

Love and Death on Long Island 
by Gilbert Adair.
Heinemann, 138 pp., £10.95, July 1990, 9780434006229
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Going wrong 
by Ruth Rendell.
Hutchinson, 250 pp., £12.99, September 1990, 0 09 174300 1
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The Burden of Proof 
by Scott Turow.
Bloomsbury, 515 pp., £13.99, August 1990, 0 7475 0673 6
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Crucible of Fools 
by M.S. Power.
Hamish Hamilton, 165 pp., £12.99, August 1990, 0 241 13006 9
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... In his now-famous article ‘The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism’, the Marxist critic Fredric Jameson gives one of the defining characteristics of Post-Modernism as being ‘the effacement of the older (essentially high-modernist) frontier between high culture and the so-called mass or commercial culture ...

At the Huntington

Jack Hartnell: Relocating the Yokoi House, 8 October 2020

... sets, identikit gas stations, postmodern edifices such as the Westin Bonaventure Hotel, which Fredric Jameson called as ‘shallow as a pair of reflector sunglasses’ – speaks to the same architectural flexibility. Regularly finding themselves caught up in the push towards modernity, as well as the unstable topography, 19th-century Angelenos often ...

What We Have

David Bromwich: Tarantinisation, 4 February 1999

The Origins of Postmodernity 
by Perry Anderson.
Verso, 143 pp., £11, September 1998, 1 85984 222 4
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The Cultural Turn: Selected Writings on the Postmodern, 1983-98 
by Fredric Jameson.
Verso, 206 pp., £11, September 1998, 1 85984 182 1
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... art and commerce. Post-Modernism has sometimes seemed to fascinate Marxists like Anderson and Fredric Jameson because it offers a bottomless pool of examples to prove the decadence of late capitalism. Its specimens on this view are important to sample because they instruct us in the ‘logic’ of current events, in which a new culture, engendered by ...


Slavoj Žižek: Henning Mankell, 20 November 2003

The Return of the Dancing Master 
by Henning Mankell, translated by Laurie Thompson.
Harvill, 406 pp., £14.99, October 2003, 1 84343 058 4
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... the murderer is discovered, apprehended and condemned. His technique quite closely follows what Fredric Jameson, in his seminal essay ‘On Raymond Chandler’, described as Chandler’s procedure, which is to use the formula (an investigation that brings the detective into contact with all strata of life) as a frame allowing him to fill out the plot ...

Voyage to Uchronia

Paul Delany, 29 August 1991

The Difference Engine 
by William Gibson and Bruce Sterling.
Gollancz, 384 pp., £7.99, July 1991, 9780575050730
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... style that grafts technical jargon onto traditional hard-boiled prose. All of this has led Fredric Jameson to hail cyberpunk as ‘for many of us, the supreme literary expression if not of Post-Modernism, then of late capitalism itself’. Sterling’s future is generally less menacing than Gibson’s. In his recent Islands in the Net, the ...

Each Scene for Itself

David Edgar: The Brecht Centenary, 4 March 1999

War Primer 
by Bertolt Brecht, edited by John Willett.
Libris, 170 pp., £35, February 1998, 1 870352 21 1
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Brecht in Context: Comparative Approaches 
by John Willett.
Methuen, 320 pp., £12.99, February 1998, 0 413 72310 0
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Brecht and Method 
by Fredric Jameson.
Verso, 184 pp., £19, November 1998, 1 85984 809 5
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... out that collective work was part of the spirit of his times: a point put more aggressively in Fredric Jameson’s Brecht and Method. For Jameson, Fuegi’s attack is essentially political – a case of market-led individualism desperate to deprecate the ‘truly revolutionary collective experience’ that reached ...

Hayden White and History

Stephen Bann, 17 September 1987

The Content of the Form: Narrative Discourse and Historical Representation 
by Hayden White.
Johns Hopkins, 248 pp., £20.80, May 1987, 0 8018 2937 2
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Post-Structuralism and the Question of History 
edited by Derek Attridge, Geoff Bennington and Robert Young.
Cambridge, 292 pp., £27.50, February 1987, 0 521 32759 8
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... generous and full consideration to historical theorists whose concerns impinge upon his own: to Fredric Jameson, who still puts his faith in the ‘Marxist master narrative’, to Ricoeur, who provides the philosophical arguments for seeing historical narratives as ‘allegories of temporality’, and even to Foucault, who is accused of the failure to ...

Life of Brian

Kevin Barry, 25 January 1990

No Laughing Matter: The Life and Times of Flann O’Brien 
by Anthony Cronin.
Grafton, 260 pp., £16.95, October 1989, 0 246 12836 4
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... Cronin can only gesture toward perspectives that would distance his subject. He brings forward Fredric Jameson, quotes his definition of Post-Modernism from the 1982 New Left Review, and inserts into the definition both At Swim Two Birds and his own early recognition that with this book something drastic and irreparable had happened to ...

I like you

Hermione Lee: Boston Marriage, 24 May 2007

Between Women: Friendship, Desire and Marriage in Victorian England 
by Sharon Marcus.
Princeton, 356 pp., £12.95, March 2007, 978 0 691 12835 1
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... with Browning, her admiration for George Sand and her close friendship with the outspoken Anna Jameson, was an exceptionally broad-minded observer. In her eagerness to show the respectability of female marriages, Marcus perhaps doesn’t make enough of the tone of that liberal milieu, in which the unshockable ‘Oh, it is by no means uncommon’ would have ...

The Revolt of the Salaried Bourgeoisie

Slavoj Žižek: The New Proletariat, 26 January 2012

... chance to be exploited in a long-term job is now experienced as a privilege. The world market, as Fredric Jameson has put it, is ‘a space in which everyone has once been a productive labourer, and in which labour has everywhere begun to price itself out of the system.’ In the ongoing process of capitalist globalisation, the category of the unemployed ...

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