Thinking Blue Guitars

Slogans stifle thought.

Month: February, 2012

The Concept of Totality in Lukács and Jameson

For anyone who’s interested in the work of György Lukács or Fredric Jameson, I’ve just uploaded a draft version of a paper I gave 18 months ago at the Historical Materialism conference in London. Here’s the abstract:

This paper sets out the implicit and explicit theories of “totality” in the work of György Lukács and Fredric Jameson. It begins by asking to which problem the proletariat is a solution in the work of the early Lukács. It suggests that this problem is not only historical, but also literary in nature. In the second section, I offer a brief explanation of Lukács’ theory of realism, as found in the Marxist aesthetic debates of the 1930s, and as it relates to his concept of totality. Finally, I outline Fredric Jameson’s problematisation of Lukács’ theory of totality and spell out two key innovations in his use of the term.


Fredric Jameson: The Antinomies of Realism (Excerpt)

For anyone who is in any way passionate about the work of Fredric Jameson, this will be an absolute treat: an excerpt from his forthcoming book, The Antinomies of Realism. It’s a photocopy of a section of the manuscript, and like the modernist that at heart he remains, it is typed on a type-writer with handwritten alterations interspersed throughout (rumour has it that he has a specialist manufacture the type-writer ribbon since it is no longer commercially available). Longer quotations taken from other works are photocopied and then cut and pasted into the manuscript. If anyone has ever enquired into the stylistic mechanics of Jameson’s prose, this will offer a rare glimpse “under the hood”.

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