In this book, the author analyzes previous contributions to a Marxist theory of literature from Marx himself to Lukacs, Althusser, and Goldmann, and develops his own approach by outlining a theory of 'cultural materialism' which integrates Marxist theories of language with Marxist theories of literature.
This volume constitutes both an attack on modern left wing literary theory - the main product of the last Marxist renaissance in the past thirty years - and a defence of the one element of Marxism which, in the general collapse, modern theorists have been happiest to lose, its economic materialism. It traces Marxist theory from its beginnings in Hegelian idealism to its end in Althusser's structuralism, and concludes that while Marxist economics will not work, and the type of revolution prophesied was fantasy, the principle of historical materialism remains intact and defensible. This will be a key text in literary and cultural studies as well as being of interest to students on philosophy and sociology courses.
Publisher: Cambridge, Mass. : Harvard University Press
Category: Literary Criticism
John Frow's book is a novel contribution to Marxist literary theory, proposing a reconciliation of formalism and historicism in order to establish the basis for a new literary history. Through a critique of his forerunners in Marxist theory (the historicist Marxism of Lukács, the work of Macherey, Eagleton, and Jameson), Frow seeks to define the strengths and the limitations of this tradition and then to extend its possibilities in a radical reworking of the concept of discourse. He develops the notion of literature as a historically specific system within a network of discourses. Frow goes on to elaborate a number of central theoretical categories and to explore the historical dimension of those categories. Drawing in particular on Russian Formalism, he develops a theory of the dynamics of literary change and of the historical pressures that shape the literary system. He tests and extends his categories through readings of texts by Petronius, Hölderlin, DeLillo, Dickens, Frank Hardy, and others. The final chapter, a reading of Derrida and Foucault, poses the question of the possibility of setting limits to reading and the power of limits to determine literary history.
For more than thirty years, Fredric Jameson has been one of the most productive, wide-ranging, and distinctive literary theorists in the United States and the Anglophone world. Marxism and Form provided a pioneering account of the work of the major European Marxist theorists--T. W. Adorno, Walter Benjamin, Herbert Marcuse, Ernst Bloch, Georg Lukács, and Jean-Paul Sartre--work that was, at the time, largely neglected in the English-speaking world. Through penetrating readings of each theorist, Jameson developed a critical mode of engagement that has had tremendous in.uence. He provided a framework for analyzing the connection between art and the historical circumstances of its making--in particular, how cultural artifacts distort, repress, or transform their circumstances through the abstractions of aesthetic form. Jameson's presentation of the critical thought of this Hegelian Marxism provided a stark alternative to the Anglo-American tradition of empiricism and humanism. It would later provide a compelling alternative to poststructuralism and deconstruction as they became dominant methodologies in aesthetic criticism. One year after Marxism and Form, Princeton published Jameson's The Prison-House of Language (1972), which provided a thorough historical and philosophical description of formalism and structuralism. Both books remain central to Jameson's main intellectual legacy: describing and extending a tradition of Western Marxism in cultural theory and literary interpretation.
This title offers a Marxist take on a selection of artistic and cultural achievements from the rap music of Tupac Shakur to the painting of Van Gogh, from HBO's Breaking Bad to Balzac's Cousin Bette , from the magical realm of Harry Potter to the apocalyptic landscape of The Walking Dead , from The Hunger Games to Game of Thrones .
Raymond Williams' prolific output is increasingly recognised as the most influential body of work on literary and cultural studies in the past fifty years. This book provides the most comprehensive study to date of the theoretical and historical context of Williams' thinking on literature, politics and culture. John Higgins traces: * Williams' intellectual development * the related growth of a New Left cultural politics * the origins of the theory and practice of cultural materialism. Raymond Williams is an astonishing achievement and will challenge many received ideas about Williams' work.
Marxism and Culture attempts a history of the approach to literature as practiced by the Communist Party of the United States during the 1930s. It also attempts to set aside the distortion of cultural cold war which routinely labeled anything communist as tendentious and tainted.
*Winner of CHOICE Outstanding Academic Book Prize 2019**Shortlisted for the Isaac Deutscher Prize 2019*Why Marxism? Why today? In the first introduction to Marxist literary criticism to be published in decades, Barbara Foley argues that Marxism continues to offer the best framework for exploring the relationship between literature and society.She lays out in clear terms the principal aspects of Marxist methodology - historical materialism, political economy and ideology critique - as well as key debates, among Marxists and non-Marxists alike, about the nature of literature and the goals of literary criticism and pedagogy.Foley examines through the empowering lens of Marxism a wide range of texts: from Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice to E. L. James's Fifty Shades of Grey; from Frederick Douglass's 'What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?' to Annie Proulx's 'Brokeback Mountain'; from W.B. Yeats's 'The Second Coming' to Claude McKay's 'If We Must Die'.
Marxist Literary Theory: A Reader d is designed to give both students and lecturers a sense of the historical formation of a Marxist literary tradition. A unique compilation of principal texts in that tradition, it offers the reader new ways of reading Marxism, literature, theory, and the social possibilities of writing. Represented in this reader are: Theodor W. Adorno, Louis Althusser, Aijaz Ahmad, Chida Amuta, Etienne Balibar and Pierre Macherey, Roland Barthes, Walter Benjamin, Ernest Bloch, Bertolt Brecht, Alex Callinicos, Christopher Caudwell, Terry Eagleton, Friedrich Engels, Lucien Goldmann, Fredric Jameson, V. I. Lenin, George Lukacs, Karl Marx, The Marxist-Feminist Collective, Jean-Paul Sartre, Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Leon Trotsky, V. N. Volosinov, Galvano Della Volpe, Alick West, and Raymond Williams.
A new edition of a classic treatise on literary theory seeks to develop a sophisticated relationship between Marxism and literary criticism, evaluating the key works of such figures as Lenin, Trostsky, and Sartre as well as canonical writers including Charles Dickens and T. S. Eliot to demonstrate how ideology can play a productive and subversive role in literature. Reprint.
This works deals to a large extent with Marxist criticism. Marxism's impact on the organization of the international labor movement its impact on world history the Russian, the Chinese and Cuban revolutions Marxism's influence on the social sciences mainly sociology, historiography and economics Marxism's indirect influence on philosophy, linguistics and anthropology this all makes it evident that Marxism deserves careful consideration in the study of literary theory. In the first chapter of Part 3, an overview of Marx's and Engels' ideas about literature are given, while contrasting their ideas with Lenin's and Trotsky's ideas. In the second chapter of Part 3, the writer draws up three Marxist theses for literary theory. He also develops three Marxist criteria to distinguish classes because 'class' and 'class struggle' are central concepts of Marxist Theory though the writer acknowledges these concepts lesser usefulness for literary theory. The faulty theories of present-day Marxist critics are covered as well. Finally, the Marxist theses for literary theory are applied in analyzing Dazai's novel The Setting Sun.
During and after the Harlem Renaissance, two intellectual forces --nationalism and Marxism--clashed and changed the future of African American writing. Current literary thinking says that writers with nationalist leanings wrote the most relevant fiction, poetry, and prose of the day. Nationalism, Marxism, and African American Literature Between the Wars: A New Pandora's Box challenges that notion. It boldly proposes that such writers as A. Philip Randolph, Langston Hughes, and Richard Wright, who often saw the world in terms of class struggle, did more to advance the anti-racist politics of African American letters than writers such as Countee Cullen, Jessie Redmon Fauset, Alain Locke, and Marcus Garvey, who remained enmeshed in nationalist and racialist discourse. Evaluating the great impact of Marxism and nationalism on black authors from the Harlem Renaissance and the Depression era, Anthony Dawahare argues that the spread of nationalist ideologies and movements between the world wars did guide legitimate political desires of black writers for a world without racism. But the nationalist channels of political and cultural resistance did not address the capitalist foundation of modern racial discrimination. During the period known as the "Red Decade" (1929-1941), black writers developed some of the sharpest critiques of the capitalist world and thus anticipated contemporary scholarship on the intellectual and political hazards of nationalism for the working class. As it examines the progression of the Great Depression, the book focuses on the shift of black writers to the Communist Left, including analyses of the Communists' position on the "Negro Question," the radical poetry of Langston Hughes, and the writings of Richard Wright.
Russian Formalism and Marxist criticism had a seismic impact on twentieth-cetury literary theory and the shockwaves are still felt today. First published in 1979, Tony Bennett's Formalism and Marxism created its own reverberations by offering a ground-breaking new interpretation of the Formalists' achievements and demanding a new way forward in Marxist criticism. The author first introduces and reviews the work of the Russian Formalists, a group of theorists who made an extraordinarily vital contribution to literary criticism in the decade followig the October Revolution of 1917. Placing the work of key figures in context and addressing such issues as aesthetics, linguistics and the category of literature, literary form and function and literary evolution, Bennett argues that the Formalists' concerns provided the basis for a radically historical approach to the study of literature. Bennett then turns to the situation of Marxist criticism ad sketches the risks it has run in becoming overly entangled with the concerns of traditional aesthetics. He forcefully argues that through a serious and sympathetic reassessment of the Formalists and their historical approach, Marxist critics might find their way back on to the terrain of politics, where they and theri work belong. Addressing such crucial questions as 'What is literature?' or 'How should it be studied and to what end?', Formalism and Marxism explores ideas which should be considered by any student or reader of literature and provides a particular challenge to those interested in Marxist criticism. Now with a new afterword, this classic text still offers the best available starting point for those new to the field, as well as representing a crucial intervention in twentieth-century literary theory.