Synopses & Reviews
The word postmodernism, for better or worse, has entered everyday discourse. Applied everywhere, it as acquired an authority to describe a variety of concerns--culture, critiques of culture, architecture, video, music, the penchant for economic forecasts and marketing research, new therapies, museum installations and film festivals, religious revivals and cults--and seems to offer an assurance that it identifies something. But what?
In his most broadly engaging work, Fredric Jameson argues that postmodernism is the cultural response to the latest systemic change in world capitalism. He seeks here to crystallize a definition of this term that has taken on so many meanings it has virtually lost all historical significance. Departing from his now classic essay, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (included here), he presents a wide-ranging discussion of the cultural landscape--both high and low--of postmodernity. Subsequent chapters evaluate the political fortunes of the new term and survey postmodern developments in a range of different fields, from market ideology to architecture, from painting and installment art to contemporary punk film, from video art and high literature to deconstruction.
Finally, Jameson reevaluates the concept of postmodernism in light of postmodern critiques of totalization and historical narratives, from the notion of decadence to the dynamics of small groups, from religious fundamentalism to high-tech science fiction, while touching on the nature of contemporary cultural critique and the possibilities of cultural mapping in the present multinational world system. This insightful and provocative book will be fundamentally important to all future discussions of postmodernism.
andquot;Fredric Jameson, internationally recognized as a literary theorist and as Americaand#39;s most notable Marxist intellectual, has established a leading place in discussions of postmodernism. Jameson brings to the subject an immense range of reference both to artworks and to theoretical discussions; a strong hypothesis linking cultural changes to changes in the place of culture within the whole structure of life produced by a new phase of economic history (multinational capitalism); and a severely scholarly wish to analyze and understand, rather than praise or blame, the object of his study.andquot;andmdash;Jonathan Arac
andldquo;A classic of late 20th-century Euroamerican critical thought.andrdquo;
andldquo;An encyclopedic grasp of modern culture.andrdquo;
andldquo;For anybody hoping to understand not just the cultural but the political and social implications of postmodernism . . . Jamesonandrsquo;s book is a fundamental, nonpareil text.andrdquo;
andldquo;Fredric Jameson is Americaandrsquo;s leading Marxist critic, a prodigiously energetic thinker whose writings sweep magisterially from Sophocles to science fiction. . . . Postmodernism is an intellectual blockbuster.andrdquo;
andldquo;No one theorist illustrates the recent history of postmodernismandrsquo;s history so well as Fredric Jameson.andrdquo;
andldquo;The scope and profundity of Postmodernism, covering theory, architecture, film, video, and economics, is truly staggering. . . . Brilliant . . .andrdquo;
Now in paperback, Fredric Jamesonandrsquo;s most wide-ranging work seeks to crystalize a definition of andrdquo;postmodernismandrdquo;. Jamesonandrsquo;s inquiry looks at the postmodern across a wide landscape, from andldquo;highandrdquo; art to andldquo;lowandrdquo; from market ideology to architecture, from painting to andldquo;punkandrdquo; film, from video art to literature.
Includes bibliographical references (p. -430) and index.
About the Author
Fredric Jameson is Professor and Chair of the Literature Program at Duke University. He is the coeditor, with Masao Miyoshi, of The Cultures of Globalization, also published by Duke University Press.