Study Guide

Fredric Jameson - Major Arguments

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Major Arguments

Dear Reader,

I know this hasn't been easy, but I appreciate that you have gone this far with me. I shudder at the thought of you leaving these words without fully appreciating—I mean understanding my contributions to Marxist Cultural Theory. So, as I bid adieu, I would like to remind you to keep a few things in mind as you travel through the years of late capitalism and postmodernism and face the challenges of a citizen perhaps denying history, but hopefully not.

What is my legacy? What will my obituary say? A few hints:

  • My gift to Marxist Literary Theory is unrivaled.
  • So is my contribution to postmodernism. This one really shocked people, because to them, Marxism and postmodernism are like a cat and a dog in a rucksack.
  • I have upped the ante on Marxist film studies by calling out the ways films contribute to the evils of globalization by denying history.
  • My writing is not easy to read. My ideas are complex, abstract, ornate—whatever you want to call it. People have wept out of frustration in trying to decipher my message. There are public service announcements and nationwide support groups. If you need help, reach out.
  • I am not one of those working-class Marxists. Now, I know that sounds snooty and superior, because it is. My Marxist peeps are intellectuals, academics, and other people far from the unwashed masses. We're talking people with Ph.D.s and stuff. We talk about Marxist THEORY, not Marxist ACTIVISM, so please don't send me links to events and factories that are closing down. They go straight into my spam folder, anyway.
  • Following on that previous point: I interpret works of art—books, paintings, films, and so forth—because, as I tell my students, "Please always remember, and don't ever forget:
  1. There is always a relationship between economics and ideology.
  2.  Our culture is commodified up to its eyeballs.
  3.  Don't ever not resist—or, always resist.
  4.  Do not conduct interpretation outside of history. Someone could be seriously injured or killed.
  5.  Always historicize, baby!"

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