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This ground-breaking and influential study explores the complex place and function of literature within culture. It takes its place as one of the most meaningful works of the twentieth century.In this ground-breaking and influential study Fredric Jameson explores the complex place and function of literature within culture. At the time Jameson was actually writing the book, in the mid to late seventies, there was a major reaction against deconstruction and poststructuralism. As one of the most significant literary theorists, Jameson found himself in the unenviable position of wanting to defend his intellectual past yet keep an eye on the future. With this book he carried it off beautifully. A landmark publication, The Political Unconscious takes its place as one of the most meaningful works of the twentieth century.
In this ground-breaking and influential study Fredric Jameson explores the complex place and function of literature within culture. At the time Jameson was actually writing the book, in the mid to late seventies, there was a major reaction against deconstruction and poststructuralism. As one of the most significant literary theorists, Jameson found himself in the unenviable position of wanting to defend his intellectual past yet keep an eye on the future. With this book he carried it off beautifully. A landmark publication, The Political Unconscious takes its place as one of the most meaningful works of the twentieth century.century.
Thirty years have passed since eminent cultural and literary critic Fredric Jameson wrote his classic work, The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act, in which he insisted that "there is nothing that is not social and historical - indeed, that everything is 'in the last analysis' political." Bringing together a team of leading scholars this book critically examines the important contribution made by this eminent cultural and literary critic, and breaks new ground in architectural criticism, offering insights into the interrelationships between politics, culture, space, and architecture. Fredric Jameson himself provides an afterword.
The first book to explore the premise of "Survivor as society," this work serves as both an analysis of a popular television program and a highly-readable primer for those new to critical theory."--BOOK JACKET.
Political philosopher Noëlle McAfee proposes a powerful new political theory for our post-9/11 world, in which an old pathology-the repetition compulsion-has manifested itself in a seemingly endless war on terror. McAfee argues that the quintessentially human desire to participate in a world with others is the key to understanding the public sphere and to creating a more democratic society, a world that all members can have a hand in shaping. But when some are effectively denied this participation, whether through trauma or terror, instead of democratic politics, there arises a political unconscious, an effect of desires unarticulated, failures to sublimate, voices kept silent, and repression reenacted. Not only is this condition undemocratic and unjust, it may lead to further trauma. Unless its troubles are worked through, a political community risks continual repetition and even self-destruction. McAfee deftly weaves together her experience as an observer of democratic life with an array of intellectual schemas, from poststructural psychoanalysis to Rawlsian and Habermasian democratic theories, as well as semiotics, civic republicanism, and American pragmatism. She begins with an analysis of the traumatic effects of silencing members of a political community. Then she explores the potential of deliberative dialogue and other "talking cures" and public testimonies, such as the South African Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to help societies work through, rather than continually act out, their conflicts. Democracy and the Political Unconscious is rich in theoretical insights, but it is also grounded in the practical problems of those who are trying to process the traumas of oppression, terror, and brutality and create more decent and democratic societies. Drawing on a breathtaking range of theoretical frameworks and empirical observations, Democracy and the Political Unconscious charts a course for democratic transformation in a world sorely lacking in democratic practice.
This work examines the counter-narratives of social actors that may be used as resources to promote and create social change, particularly racial change.

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