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Title: Fredric Jameson and the art of Modernism
Author: Christie, James
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2013
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The primary subject of this thesis is the work which Fredric Jameson has published since the year 2000. It argues that this date has functioned as a kind of watershed in thinking about Jameson, and that the work which appeared after it has not yet received close or rigorous enough critical attention, especially in comparison to his very widely read and discussed work of earlier decades; in particular his various writings from the 1980s on the subject of postmodernism. It claims that as a consequence the full significance of this writing has been broadly overlooked. The thesis identifies the existence of a 'modernist turn' within this later work which is focussed around three texts in particular; A Singular Modernity of 2002, Archaeologies of the Future of 2005, and The Modernist Papers of 2007. It claims that the mutation in regard to modernism which takes place in these works, and the emergence of modernism as the central concern of Jameson's thinking, is not just valuable in itself in terms of the wider contemporary movement within the academy towards an interest in global forms of modernity. It also constitutes a highly significant revision on Jameson's part of the foundations of much of the vast body of far more canonical work which preceded it. The aim of the thesis is to explore this revision and to effect a subsequent movement in the view of Jameson's thinking onto a far more firmly modernist footing. In asserting the value of this modernistic rethinking of Jameson's oeuvre the thesis argues for a resituating of Jameson's thought in relation to two wider theoretical traditions. The first of these is the Frankfurt School, and in particular the form of modernism associated with Theodor Adorno. The second is the current of post-structuralism contemporary with Jameson's 1980s work; in particular the alternative, post-structural model of postmodernism laid out by Jean-Fran├žois Lyotard, and the deconstructive form of reading associated with Paul de Man. This argument takes place in four chapters. The first discusses the construction of modernism which occurs in Jameson's key works of the 1980s. The second outlines the revision which this construction is subjected to by his later modernist works. The final two chapters then develop the significance of this model of modernist revisionism by using it to intervene in two of the most widely-discussed and controversial areas of Jameson's career to date; the question of totality (the subject of the third chapter), and Jameson's engagement with the subject of 'Third-World Literature' (the subject of the fourth).
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Arts & Humanities Research Council (Great Britain)
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: PR English literature