Jameson's Marxist Criticism
A Marxist dialectical criticism
(or metacommentary; from Preface of
-- "Interpretation is here construed as an essentially allegorical
act, which consists in rewriting a given text in terms of a particular
interpretive master code." (10)
-- will always recognise the historical origins of its own concepts,
the "master codes" it uses, and will never allow the concepts to ossify
and become insensitive to the presuure of reality.
--will seek to unmask the inner form of a genre or body of texts
and will work from the surface of a work inward
to the level where literary form is deeply related to the concrete.
Literature as a Socially Symbolic Act"
Criticizes two approaches to history: Antiquarian and Modernist (Structuralist)
Three levels' of Causality -- Jameson's criticism of Althusser
1.mechanical causality (billiard ball causality) applicable
to analysis of local events
2. Hegel's and Stalin's "expressive causality"
--homogeniety of the levels and totalization
3. Structural causality
. . . the relationship between the levels of instances, and the possibility
of adapting analyses and findings from one level to another. (39)
-- a process of transcoding: as the invention of a set of terms,
the strategic choice of a particular code or language, such that the same
terminology can be used to analyze and articulate two quite distinct types
of objects or "text," . . . (40)
Mediation is the classical dialectical term for the establishment of
relationship between, say, the formal analysis of a work of art and its
social ground, or between the internal dynamics of the political state
and its economic base.
Different kinds of mediation
Through separation and differentiation -- structural causality
through identification -- expressive causality
"Althusserian structural causality is therefore just as fundamentally
a practice of mediation as is the expressive causality to which it is opposed."
three horizons of criticism--from immanent analysis to
a level of immanent analysis, = text as a symbolic act
a level of socio-discourse analysis, = text as class discourse
and an epochal level of Historical reading = text as being embedded in
a field of forces of the dynamic of various sign systems
History as an absent cause: "it [History] is inaccessible except
through textual forms. amd . . . our approach to it and to the Real itself
necessarily passes through its prior textualization, its narrativization
in the political unconscious." (33)
-- History as Necessity: "History is what hurts, it is what refuses
desire and set inexorable limits to individual as well as collective praxis.
. . History as ground and untranscendable horizon. . . " (102)
Ideologeme -- the discreet ideological unit found in the texts. Ideology
--strategies of containment (53)