A Singular Modernity: Essay on the Ontology of the Present by Fredric Jameson

By Fredric Jameson

An immense new interpretation of the suggestions of modernism and modernity.The ideas of modernity and modernism are among the main arguable and vigorously debated in modern philosophy and cultural idea. during this new intervention, Fredric Jameson—perhaps the main influential and persuasive theorist of postmodernity—excavates and explores those notions in a clean and illuminating demeanour. the extreme revival of discussions of modernity, in addition to of latest theories of creative modernism, calls for recognition in its personal correct. it sort of feels transparent that the (provisional) disappearance of possible choices to capitalism performs its half within the common try and revive 'modernity' as a social excellent. but the paradoxes of the idea that illustrate its valid heritage and recommend a few ideas for warding off its misuse in addition. during this significant new interpretation of the complicated, Jameson concludes that either ideas are tainted, yet still yield clues as to the character of the phenomena they imagined to theorize. His really apt and vigilant probing of either terms—which can most likely now not be banished at this past due date—helps us make clear our current political and inventive occasions.

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One can, if one chooses, follow the narrator in Proust through the various stages of his social career; one can, with some difficulty, follow Leopold Bloom's epic journey through 34 THE IDEA OF SPATIAL FORM Dublin; but no such reduction is possible in Nightwood. As Dr. " Strictly speaking, the doctor is wrong-he has a static situation, not a narrative, and no matter how hard the reader looks he will find only the various facets of this situation explored from different angles. The eight chapters of Nightwood are like searchlights, probing the darkness each from a different direction yet ultimately illuminating the same entanglement of the human spirit.

Some secret land that he has been nourished on but cannot inherit, for the Jew seems to be everywhere from nowhere. When Felix's name was mentioned, three or more persons would swear to having seen him the week before in three different countries simultaneously. Combined with this aspect of Felix is a curious "obsession for what he termed 'Old Europe': aristocracy, nobility, royalty. . " He pays court to Robin and, since her "life held no volition for refusal," they marry. Felix, then, makes the first effort to shape Robin, to give her permission to live by informing her with his own sense of moral values.

12 Writing of this order-charged with symbolic overtones-pierces through the cumbrous mass of naturalistic detail to express the essence of character in an image; it is the antithesis to the reigning convention in the novel. Ordinary novels, as T. S. " Miss Barnes abandons any pretensions to this kind of verisimilitude, just as modem painters have abandoned any attempt at naturalistic representation; and the result is a world as strange to the reader, at first sight, as the world of Cubism was to its first spectators.

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