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Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism Author(s): Fredric Jameson Source: Social Text, No.

15 (Autumn, 1986), pp. 65-88 Published by: Duke University Press Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/466493 . Accessed: 04/11/2013 11:36
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intheEraof Literature Third-World Multinational Capitalism
FREDRIC JAMESON

fromrecentconversations thereis intellectuals, among third-world Judging now an obsessivereturn of the national situationitself, the name of the country to "us" and what thatreturns attention again and again like a gong,thecollective we haveto do and how we do it,to what we can't do and what we do better than in short,to the level of the our unique characteristics, this or that nationality, "people." This is not the way American intellectualshave been discussing is nothing but that "America,"and indeedone mightfeelthat the whole matter so. Yet a old thingcalled "nationalism,"long since liquidated here and rightly in the thirdworld (and also in the mostvital is fundamental certainnationalism to ask whether it is all that areas of the secondworld),thusmakingit legitimate and moreexperienced bad in theend.' Does in factthemessageof some disabused first-world wisdom (thatof Europe evenmorethanof theUnitedStates)consistin reminthesenationstatesto outgrowit as fastas possible?The predictble urging ders of Kampuchea and of Iraq and Iran do not really seem to me to settle be replacedexceptperhaps or suggest might by what thesenationalisms anything culture. some global Americanpostmodernist Many argumentscan be made for the importanceand interestof nonbut one is peculiarly of literature such as thatof thethird canonicalforms world,2 the strategy of the of the because it borrows adversary: weapons self-defeating The to provethat these textsare as "great" as those of the canon itself. trying another non-canonical form, object is thento show that,to take an example from and therefore can be admitted. Dashiell Hammett is reallyas greatas Dostoyevsky, all of whichis to wish traces that This is to attempt "pulp" format dutifully away insofar as any passionimmediate failure of sub-genres, and it invites constitutive a fewpages, thatthosekindsof will knowat once, after ate readerof Dostoyevsky are notpresent. satisfactions Nothingis to be gainedbypassingoverin silencethe the of non-canonical texts.The third-world novelwill not offer radical difference of Proustor Joyce;what is moredamagingthanthat,perhaps,is its satisfactions to remindus of outmoded stages of our own first-world culturaldetendency to conclude to cause us that are still and "they velopment writingnovels like Dreiser or SherwoodAnderson." A case could be builton thiskindof discouragement, withitsdeep existential if not fashion-changes; of modernist innovation to a rhythm commitment but it 65

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us. and terribly parochial.to read thistextadequately-we would an haveto giveup a greatdeal thatis individually preciousto us and acknowledge and therefore that we do existenceand a situationunfamiliar frightening-one not to know. proudofeither. the complications neverhavinghad to confront and the frustrato be particularly butit is nothing tionsof urbanliving.83 on Mon.66 Fredric Jameson which challengesour one-a historicist would not be a moralizing one.Ifthepurposeof thecanon is to comprehensible.butwhyshouldwe kindsof books? No one is suggesting not also read otherones? We are not.forwhom a or naive. our sense thatto coincidein any adequate way with fromourselves. not immediately.The fearand theresistance and a social interest withthatOtherreader.whether in theforce of a mass culture field thatis radically we spendmuchof our existence This content downloaded from 129. on the occasion of a smallbutchoicebodyoftexts. withthesenseofourown non-coincidence has to do. should we only read certain we shouldnotreadthose. in the present of postmodernism and calls fora reinvention of the imprisonment of our own culturalpast and its now seemingly radical difference old-fashioned situations and novelties. so different thatOther"ideal reader"-that is to say. but a disguise for some texts is itselffrequently oftenunmodernthird-world about thewaypeople actuallylivein otherpartsof the deeperfearof theaffluent in commonwithdailylifein theAmerican world-a way of lifethatstillhas little in in having liveda sheltered suburb.between ourselves and but as thoughalready-read. at least fornow3: these texts are at one and the same time perfectly reactionsto third-world natural.since. this alien text.And as a matter island" belovedof the devisers nail in theargument-we all do "read" manydifferent thisis to me theconclusive we are willingto admitit or not.returning the question of the canon.thenit is humanlyimpoverishing. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . We sense.86. rather. perfectly to developa rangeof richand subtleperceptions restrict our aesthetic sympathies. to whichcan be exercised only or from in from else those reading anything reading things different discourageus Indeed our want of sympathy forthese ways. But I would ratherargue all this a different way.the presenceof anotherreader. afterall. not know and prefer to Why. kindsof textsin thislifeof ours. Moreover.252. thereading The wayin whichall thisaffects processseemsto be as follows:as westernreaderswhose tastes (and much else) have been formedby our own third-world noveltendsto come before a popularor sociallyrealistic modernisms.has a freshness ofinformation us as conventional whichstrikes narrative. life does not make for a wide rangeofsympathies of a limited normally experience of differences kindsof people (I'm thinking that rangefrom with verydifferent genderand race all the way to those of social class and culture). particularly disgraceful the difficulties.Thereis nothing life. I'm evoking thatwe cannotshare.of the Otherreader. being shipped to that "desert of fact-and of greatbooks lists. then.

fragmented of and the unified the "centered we subject" personalidentity. particular mirage on a global scale.I am using the term"thirdworld" in an essentially to it do notstrike me as especially relevant to the sense. We may "humanists"-acknowledge the pertihumanities nence of the critiqueof present-day by our titularleader. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .and objections descriptive I am argument making. compartments thanclinging rather to this we are evenmorefundamentally than that. nonethelessimplies an unquestioningacceptance of "convergencetheory"thisperspecnamelytheidea thattheSovietUnionand theUnitedStatesare from tivelargelythe same thing." I take thepointof of this expression." "humanities."4 is of theWest.86. "freshman-introductory" This content downloaded from 129.252.in theEra ofMultinational Literature Third-World Capitalism 67 fromour "great books" and live at least a double life in the various different We need to be aware that of our unavoidablyfragmented society. worldliteratheold questionof a properly In theselast yearsof thecentury.83 on Mon. those which stressthe way in which it criticisms particularly differences betweena whole rangeof non-western obliterates countries profound and situations (indeed." re-examine and "core course" typetraditions. is a confrontation A finalobservation on myuse of the term"thirdworld. and is used by verydifferent importthan the rhetoric people. the fundamental breaks betweenthe capitalistfirst articulates. whilethemorerecent of "underdeveloped" conception northern and southern tiers. which world.however.""greattexts.greatminds. any greatsatisfaction list'of the books and ethnocentric anotherimpoverished Graeco-Judaic "great ideas. ityso transfixed in a new way-to our humanities curriculum to rethink remarkable opportunity the shamblesand ruinsof all our older"great books. it thefactof fragmentation to confront would do better honestly withwhichwe can hereat least make a culturalbeginning. of our own This is due as muchor moreto thedisintegration itself. any comparableexpression as thisone does.thesocialistbloc ofthesecondworld. don't. turereasserts of the lucid awareness to as of cultural greatoutside any very study conceptions therefore-as world around us. One can onlydeplore theideologicalimplications of oppositionssuch as thatbetween"developed"and or "developing"countries.William in his embarrassing solution:yet withoutfinding Bennett.one such fundamental opposition-betweenthetraditions of thegreateasternempires and thoseof thepost-colonial African nationstatesI in central what see is that follows). civilization One tempted great himself thequestionhe approvingly to turnback on Bennett Maynard quotes from minorto supporta narcissistic nationafford Mack: "How longcan a democratic moment does offer thepresent a byitsown image?" Nevertheless.which has a verydifferent ideologicalcontentand of development.and a rangeof othercountries ofcolonialism havesuffered theexperience and imperialism.

All third worldand of specific historical this.86. at work on the remainsof older forces constitutive powerfully fullyknowingit) culturesin our generalworldcapitalistsystem.insofar as we ourselves view of ourselves.252. on the other. euphemistically capital.or as it is sometimes culture ofthird-world entailsa new sensein whicha study is somefirst necessarily from are (perhapswithout the outside.is able to developdirectly or destroyed whichin some sensemustbe disaggregated modes of production.6 This is notthecase withtheother nate.83 on Mon. then. theinitialdistinction has to do with of capitalist at the moment of oldercultures thenatureand development penetrain of the me to examine to terms it seems most tion. trajectories forresearch and intended bothto suggest then.or the great bureaucraticimperialsystems. These are and cultural resistance of social different types very or tribalsocietyon the one hand.is provisional specific perspectives and value oftheseclearly a senseoftheinterest and to convey literatures neglected of a first-world for people formedby the values and stereotypes culture. wayslockedin a life-and-death theyare all in variousdistinct struggle that cultural is itself a reflexion cultural withfirst-world imperialism-a struggle of such areas in theirpenetration of the economicsituation by variousstagesof of modernization. in the colonization became theobject of systematic as they societiesand cultures. by and forms displace the violence. In the gradual expansion of capitalismacross the globe.African production. termed.then.68 Fredric Jameson of culturalstudiesin the UnitedStates demandsthe Today the reinvention of what Goethe long ago theorizedas "world in a new reinvention.our modes of production thatpose two confronts two verydistinct economicsystem to its influence. thatimposesitself But ifthisis thecase.issuingfrom intocapitalism. and it is thisnot necessarily narrower subjectabout whichI have to something say today.One distinction would seemto imposeitself at theoutset.any conception ture necessarily demandssome specificengagement with the questionof thirdworldliterature. and the Asiatic mode of so-called primitive. situation. variety giventheenormous in of those of each areas.5 Contemporary of feudalismas a form the process of reachinga consensuson the specificity the break-upof the Roman Empireor theJapaneseShoguwhich.beforecapitalismis able to implantits specific older ones.while China and principal examples quite of theso-called of capitalism withthegreatempires different sortof engagement This content downloaded from 129. of of the and tribal the most 1880s. important namelythatnone or autonomof thesecultures can be conceivedas anthropologically independent ous. rather. something enlightening to historians seem be in marxianconceptof modesof production. This. provide symbiosis capital examples striking of and offer the another India societies." context. ofwhatis often to offer somegeneral It would be presumptuous called theory in the both of nationalcultures third-world literature. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . then. In our moreimmediate of worldliteraliterature.

and consequently.then. Politics canonical is.252. of the economic.will be primarily African and Chinese. the special case of Latin America must be noted in passing. seem to have in culturalproductions hypothesis. reading? I will offer. is.83 on Mon.therelations between in third-world themare whollydifferent culture. world. whose neglect zation. let me now. as something likethesupreme exampleofthisprocessof allegoriof China's greatest masterwork in Lu Xun. Need I add thatit is precisely thisvery different ratioofthepoliticalto thepersonalwhichmakessuchtextsaliento us at to our conventional first resistant western habitsof approach. a between the and the is radical split public.We have been traiAed shapingpoweroverour individualand collective cultural conviction the lived of that our existences is deep experience private of economicscienceand politisomehowincommensurable withthe abstractions in our novelstherefore to Stendhal's cal dynamics. Freud versus Marx. My examplesbelow.allegorical." formulation.and of secular political power: in other words. by way of a sweeping Having made these initialdistinctions. novel.even those which are seemingly with a properly libidinaldynamicprivateand invested in of thestory a the form dimension national project political necessarily allegory: individual is alwaysan allegory situation of theprivate destiny oftheembattled of thepublic third-world culture and society.between the unconsciousand thatof the public worldof classes.the first writer.particularly developout of of representation.or perhapsI shouldsay.Literature in theEra ofMultinational Third-World Capitalism 69 Asiatic mode. tryto say what all third-world in commonand what distinguishes themradicallyfrom forms analogous cultural I want to argue. ofshamewhichno excusesbased on ignorance western cultural studiesis a matter This content downloaded from 129. the first textsare necessarily. I will argue that. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .86. Americaoffers an even earlier yet a thirdkind of development-one involving of imperial now collective destruction back intothe systems memory projectedby nominalconquestsofindependence archaicor tribal.althoughwe may retainforconvenience and foranalysis such categories as thesubjective and thepublic or political.Thus theearlier open themat once to a kind of indirect economicpenetration and control--something Africa in the and Asia will come to experience with decolonization only morerecently 1950s and 60s. Latin however. and in a very specific way: they when theirforms evenwhen.Let me western predominantly in a grossly oversimplified way: one ofthedeterminants tryto statethisdistinction the of the of capitalist that culture western realistand modernist culture. machineries such as the novel.All third-world are to be readas whatI willcallnationalallegories.Third-world texts. according a "pistol shot in the middleof a concert. Our numerous to overcome theoretical thisgreatsplitonlyreconfirm itsexistence and its attempts in a lives. betweenthe poetic and the private and what we havecome to thinkof as the domainof sexuality political.

a radicalwithdrawal an emptying Schreber: sionsof Senatsprdisident describesas "world-catastrophe"). "The temptto recathectby the obviouslyimperfect Freud explains.is in reality and terrifying real world is a What is reconstructed.of a livedand balefully transence.70 Fredric Jameson can rectify.86. bal) (or objectively carry in anydetailtheabsolute This is nottheplace to demonstrate cally") represented. of reality and illusion. potential ofyearsearlier. theresult as he had thought.83 on Mon. followed of libido (what Schreber by the atmechanismsof paranoia. of the paranoiddelunamelyFreud'sinterpretation readingof such phenomena.have had some analogous experiin physicalillnessor psychiccrisis. was in reality a murder.he overhears in reality and an allegedphysician another cannibetweenhis brother (obviously of all the conviction the and can be which "realistireal.whichthreatens his own physical and hisvery lifeitself as a safety his the narrator understands that own brother a is himself cannivictim. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .presupposesa certainprior "personal knowledge. to Lu Xun's case history."It offers theconviction thatthepeoplearoundhim delusion. being ofchildhoodillness. which can be the protocol of a psychosis. effect. little a number farfrom bal and thatthedeathoftheir sister. the paranoid subject observes renderedwithoutany introspective machinery: tell-tale conversations sinister glancesaroundhimin the real world. oftheworld.Termslike "depression"deform of Lu Xun's nightmare it into the back it and Other. psychic ingpreyto a terrifying and thatthatsecretcan be none otherthanthe are concealinga dreadful secret.252. fact that are cannibals."which we take to be a pathologicalprodelusion-formation.in otherwords.howexploration ever.an exploration the experimental which."The readermust. whether whichwe cannotevenmentally real worldfrom formed escape.unlike some of the older realisms." which can only be privateand subjective forming This content downloaded from 129. As befits these perceptions are objectiveones. grisly objective or deconcealment of the beneaththeappearancesof our own world:an unveiling illusionsor a stripping away of our conventional realityof things.as a rationalizations and in particumodernism.At theclimaxofthedevelopment obvious they increasingly of thedelusion. nightmarish about daily lifeand existence.It is a process comparable. in Conrad's "Heart of murmur of the archetypal deathbed thinking thathorror thehorror!"-recontainsprecisely Darkness. of thepre-eminent westernor first-world pertinence. however. onlyto someoftheprocessesofwestern literary for in whichnarrative instrument is employed as a powerful lar of existentialism. a processof reconstruction.""The horror! by transit into a rigorously "mood." at recovery. be read by any western "Diary of a Madman" (1918) must at first reader as the protocol of what our essentially psychological language termsa of a subjectin intensifythenotesand perceptions "nervousbreakdown.forthefullhorror such to be appreciated. pathological projecting psychologizing experience by while the analogous western approaches to this same experience-I'm literary of Kurtz."7 an attempt duct.

But thisrepresentational powerof Lu Xun's textcannotbe appreciated properlywithoutsome sense of what I have called its allegoricalresonance. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . specifically in of Darwiniannatural western naturalor mythological equivalent thenightmare selection. in dealing projectedby the tale's double resolution.in theEra ofMultinational Literature Third-World Capitalism 71 of expression-the unspeakable. on dimension the the the libidinal structure story. graspedthrough go farbeyond of cut-throat western realisticor naturalistic representation capitalistor market a resonance it exhibits absent fromits and political competition. disguisedand and of the traditional forms indeed intensified most procedures Chinese culby to stayalive. whereby politicalcommitment ofthesubjective ofressentiment or theauthoritaaccountedforin terms dynamics This content downloaded from 129. politicalcommitment for tivizedbywayofthepublic-private splitI havealreadyevoked. on theroleof thethird-world on cultural and the of himself.Interpretations. textssuch as thisstoryby Lu Xun the I have suggested thatin third-world of individual the libidinaland thepoliticalcomponents and between relationship fromwhat obtains in the west and what is radicallydifferent social experience or ifyou forms. It is.83 on Mon.This occursat all levels mustdevourone another ture.unnameto an aesthetic by recourse designated whose external formulation can onlydesignate it from able inner without. disintegrating his fellowcitizens.are "literally"cannibals: in theirdesperation." "literal" level of the text.86. Now I wantto offer four remarks about thistext. feeling. whose consequences themorelocal Historyitself. Let me tryto characterize thisdifference.For it in the should be clear thatthe cannibalismliterally by the sufferer apprehended is at one and thesame timebeing ofhis family and neighbors attitudes and bearing as a whole: and ifthisattribution to Chinesesociety attributed byLu Xun himself morepowerful it is indeeda figure and "literal"thanthe is to be called "figural. respectively. Lu Xun's propositionis that the people of thisgreat China of the late and post-imperial maimedand retarded. futurity theradicalstructural difference the withall fourof thesetopics. shapes our own cultural of in the the like this radical reversal. whichwilltouch. nightmare. lumpensand peasantsall thewayto elite positionsin the mandarinbureaucracy. period. I want to the most privileged of lifespecifically a social and historical a visionof the horror stress. additional of on ofitsallegory.252. like a symptom. That such interpretations to everyone and need no further are episodes in a muchlonger is re-psychologized and tradition. by way generalization: following or subjecis recontained and psychologized conventionally. in movements of the 60s terms of revolts are familiar of Oedipal example.they ruthlessly from hierarchical of thatexceedingly society.to stress between of in of third-world culture those the first-world cultural tradition and dynamics whichwe have ourselves been formed. west. producer perspective I will be concerned. political comment.

butrather whereI wantto culture." works.In his crucially Chineseculture collection Prefaceto thefirst important of his stories.86.8 Here alreadythen. "Medicine.and of Lu Xun's mobilizationof it for the sensitivity of an essentially dramatization social nightmare-something whichin a western wouldbe consigned to therealmofthemerely writer thevertical obsession.83 on Mon. are at one withthetextsthatrevealthedynamics the chartsof theheavensat one withthelogicof medicallore. private of the personaltrauma.however. works-whose parentshavethe good fortune Chinesemedicine is not"taken. may of this libidinal region. separate: analogy analytically of politicalforces. is to be read in suggest I to and social terms.but recall. for feel in better to we a somewhat the sense enormous position example). is.while declining family rapidlydisappearedinto the purchaseof We will not sense the expensiveand rare. (It hope.but nowhere quite so strikingly The storypotraysa dyingchild-the death of childrenis a constantin these to procurean "infallible"remedy. thatpsychology. western antinomies-and mostparticularly thatbetweenthe or in and the refused The advance. but can be demonstrated rian personality. "eaten.and whenwe observethe multiple eat" is put in ordinaryChinese language (one "eats" a fear or a fright. exotic and ludicrousmedicaments. bodily question of eating. not sexuality. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . libidinalinvestment. dimension can be observedthroughout Lu Xun's A different alimentary transgression as in his terrible littlestory.We must now the extraordinary of Chinesecuisine. This content downloaded from 129.) example rather We'retold.foron thing. political unnecessary add thatwhat primarily followsis speculativeand verymuch subject to correction by specialists:it is offered as a methodological thana "theory"of Chineseculture. confirmed the When we findthat centrality observation that the by veryrich for sexual is Chinese vocabulary matters extraordinarily intertwined with the uses to whichtheverb"to languageof eating. by a ofanti-political careful textsfrom Nietzscheand Conradall thewayto the reading latestcold-warpropaganda. however." At thispointwe mustrecallboththattraditional Xun and that for Lu traditional in the but Chinese medicine as was west. incorporation. such fundamental categoriesas the pure and the impurespring. in an ancientpast. thatthe greatancientimperialcosmologies identify by in what we the west the classical sex manuals thus. to our present is not. the oral stage.not merely symbolic complexity also the centralrole thisart and practiceoccupies in Chineseculture as a whole.9 and death of his own father he recounts the suffering from tuberreserves culosis." the supremelocus of the unspeakableand exploitative of traditional charlatanry in general.and so forth. libidinalcenter public political-are subjective of Lu Xun's textis.252. thedemonstration What is relevant context of ofitsinversion in third-world thatproposition. or morespecifically.72 Fredric Jameson is perhapsless well understood.the whole but rather fromwhich devoration.of ingestion.

252. betrayal This new mappingprocess bringsme to the cautionary remarkI wantedto make about allegoryitself-a formlong discredited in the west and the specific of Wordsworth and Coleridge.83 on Mon.It is in tone or of the formdetermines a shift to note thatthe enlargement interesting This content downloaded from 129.The child dies of course. properly coveredin flowers of whom one graveis mysteriously by absent sympathizers In the analysisof a storylike this.whichmight onlybe setin motion and complexified werewe willing to entertain themorealarming notionthatsuch in constantchange and transformation at each perequivalencesare themselves of the text.Lu and a physician. so to speak.but it is important to note thatthe hapless victimof a more anyway. withthe moreovert violenceof family finally intersecting and politicalrepression. Our traditionalconceptionof allegory-based. tions.86. producedat least one sketches.the father's for in survival future only hope generaChinese steamed rolls. for instance.Third-World in theEra ofMultinational Literature Capitalism 73 that forall these of this indignation unless we remember symbolicsignificance inJapan-the epitome medicine ofsome reasonsLu Xun decidedto study western later to sciencethat promisedcollective new western decide regeneration-only of culture-I am tempted to say. Hence thisterrible in Xun remainsa diagnostician story.as we might the allegoryof a certainset of Chinese attitudesand modes of behavior. which the cure forthe male child.turnsout to be one of those large doughy-white soaked in the blood of a criminalwho has just been executed.as hapless coolie named Ah Q. series of anecdotes about a approach to the longerform. then. allegory again as overagainstthemassiveand monumental of unifications congenialforus today. petual present Here too Lu Xun has some lessons forus. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . an older modernist or evenrealismitself. violence state whose (the supposed criminal)was a political militant. it is because the allegorical symbolism of breaksand heterogeneities.theelaboration of a political thattheproduction form of politicalmedicine.in a much lengthier have suspected.we mustrethink knowsnothing. a matter of the discontinuous. who comes to serve. spiritis profoundly of dream than the rather the of multiple polysemia representation homogeneous the symbol.yeta linguistic targetof the Romanticrevolution which also seems to be experiencing structure a remarkable of inreawakening If in contemporary once terest has become somehow literary theory. a viewofthissignifying one-dimensional process. This writerof shortstoriesand whichneverevolvedinto the novelformas such.on of Bunyan-is thatof an elaborateset of figures and personifications stereotypes to be read againstsome one-to-one table of equivalences:this is. our convenofthesymbolic tionalconception levelsofa narrative and politics (wheresexuality for of be in to each as a set or which circuits other.10 culture-was a moreeffective As a writer. instance) might homology loops of therapeutic and overdetermine each other-the enormity intersect cannibalism in a pauper'scemetery.

he tellsthem. contempt foreign nothing and powerto theircredit. and the thingsin it were far too empty""11 becomes materialfora more properly Chaplinesque comedy. worsethanan animal.thinking seconds.allegorically.and to what mustbe called the function stood that in the third-world situationthe intellectual is always in one way or No third-world lesson is more timelyor more anothera political intellectual. let techniquesof self-justification alone recalled."12Admitthatyou are notevenhuman. then.theterrible China of the "Diary of a Madman."'13 When one recallsthe remarkable of the Manchu dynasty self-esteem in its final for who the devils had and serene but modern throes.simultaneously. whenI had occasion to visita remarkable school on college-preparatory of Havana.however. It is a matter of some shame foran American the outskirts to witness in a socialistsetting theculturalcurriculum whichalso verymuchidentifies itself This content downloaded from 129. allegorical changeplaces: Ah Q is China humiliatedby the foreigners.. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .Nowherehas thestrangeness hometo me morestrongly thisvacantpositionbeen brought thanon a recent trip to Cuba. term forus today. China itself.But thepersecutors are also China. All ofwhichslowlybrings in thethird us to thequestionofthewriter himself of the intellectual. world the to What is own son. is that his persecutors-theidlersand bullies who find their a riseout ofjustsuch miserable victims as dailypleasuresin getting Ah Q-they too are China. a China so well versedin the spiritual that such humiliations are not even registered. what complicatesthe whole issue. When set upon by his persefamiliar-technique for overcoming overthem.satisfied but an animal! On thecontrary." whose responseto powerself-cannibalistic of the weakerand moreinferior of lessnessis the senselesspersecution members the hierarchy.one achievesa science. would walk away. coming nowadays. urgent as thoughit werethename foran extinct of species.86.74 Fredric Jameson that had been stricken with the stillnessand genericdiscourse:now everything withouthope-"the room was not only too emptinessof death and suffering silent.does thatsatisfy you?"In less thanten Ah Q would walk away also satisfied thathe had won..armies.technology of Lu Xun's satire. This verysimpleexample.however. moreprecisesense of the historical and social topicality Ah Q is thus.83 on Mon.Ah Q's resiliency we to are understand culturally verynormaland springsfroman unusual-but humiliation. "'It is as ifI werebeaten Ah Q. in a different sense.amongwhomthevery "intellectual"has withered away.shows the capacityof allegoryto generatea range of distinct meaningsor as the tenor and vehicle messages.' removing what remained was stilltheglory ofremaining 'number 'self-belittlement' one. serenein his superiority reflects: cutors.252.gunboats.What I want to observe.it was far too big as well. thatyouare nothing I'm theyinsist.' Thereuponhe too by my at havingwon. in the allegoricalsense. in one all 'number and thatafter thathe was after the self-belittlement.I'm an insect!There. it beingunderworld.

4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .86. they thoseunfortunate few cryaloudto wakea fewof thelighter sleepers. James. making theagony ofirrevocable suffer do youthink a good death. desperately volutionary English workI foundmostchallenging was one explicitly devoted tions. or literary The formal manifestation of present This content downloaded from 129. Nowifyou they sleep. absolutely Imagine who willshortly die ofsuffocation. classics.Oversomethreeor fouryears. dramatizeshis dilemma: an ironhousewithout withmany windows.thegreatrealistic reand Cuban of the 19th-century finallycontemporary European tradition.Butthesemester's as such: the culturalintellectual who is to the studyof therole of the intellectual who produces both poetryand praxis. Butyouknow that peoplefastsleepinside since willdiein their willnotfeel thepainofdeath.252. recommentary. indestructible. the intellectual also a political militant. the bankruptcy of the middle-class revolution had become apparent)-in which no solutions.it is also a dense text in its own right.And in Lu Xun's own workit is thesupreme unusual example ofthe very ratio of subjective investment and a deliberately objectivenarradepersonalized tion. of thisprocess-Ho Chi Minh and Augustino Nieto-are The Cuban illustrations our own would determined: equivalents probablybe obviouslyenoughculturally of DuBois and C.83 on Mon.as we shallsee shortly. line-by-line for to sponding requests publication by his friendsand futurecollaborators. youaredoingthem turn?14 The seemingly in thishistorical intellectual hopelesssituationof the third-world after of the ChineseCommunist the founding but also after period (shortly Party. whichwould demanda Yet I will quote the littlefable by which Lu Xun. no forms of praxis or change.in theEra ofMultinational Literature Third-World Capitalism 75 world.seem conceivable-this situation will find itsparallel. when once again no political solutionsseem or on visible the historical horizon. of we need translanovels. in thesituation ofAfrican intellectuals after the achievement of independence.of Kollontaior Louise Michel. But as this whole talk aims implicitly in of the humanities American education it a new today.Dante's Inferno. incidentally.of Sartreand Neruda or the morefamiliar figures at Brecht. about Lu Xun's own conception I've alreadysaid something from thepracticeof medicine. is conception suggesting of role of the to the the intellectual as such study oughtto be appropriate add that in any such proposals.Cuban teenagers withthethird study poems theSpanishtheatrical novels of Homer.Not only is it one of the fundamental documentsforunderstanding the situationof the thirdworld artist. which.fullyas much a work of art as any of the greatest stories.But thereis a greatdeal more and its extrapolation to be said specifically about the Preface.R. a keycomponent of his vocation.We haveno timeto do justiceto thoserelationships.L.

83 on Mon.in itsstrongest form. althoughit choice of the term"culgovernspsychologies. I will suggest Freire. Subalternity derstandings. and Paolo of theirscope and focus. In a moregeneraltheoretical context-and it is thistheoretical formof the I now like at in should least to thematize and set on the place problem agenda-we a senseofwhat"culturalrevolution" mustrecover in means.as so often. professional thereby encouragwhichonlyreinforces and guilt. is notto the immediate the marxist The reference of thatviolent tradition. materialistic fashion. which the names of Gramsciand Wilhelm Reich. We have allowed culturalintellectuals. But here. Frantz Fanon. Herbert Marcuse.since the habits remain and exercisea This is a moredramaticformof that old residualeffect. placed if theirconcretehistoricalmeaningis to be grasped. habits us of first-world ourselves can false and into such as lead us misunplay peoples is not in thatsense a psychological matter. and in that form explicitly designatedthe literacy of universal and education:something scholarity campaignand thenew problems ofwhichCuba. or bureaucratic life'sworkto thenarrowest terms. Rudolph Bahro. and tumultuous alinterruption reference to Maoism as a doctrine is some The term. events of the "elevenyears" in recentChinese history. or non-economistic. enlarge of of seemingly verydifferent preoccupations. the a special senseof subalternity ing in ourselves could a article be a with vicious circle.86." of mentalinferiornamelythe feelings and obedience which necessarily and structurally ityand habits of subservience of domination-most dramatically in the experience of coldevelopin situations thesubjectivizing and psychologizing onized peoples. When a but also non-reductionist determined is objectively by economic and political relationpsychicstructure therapies.Overhastily.15 balefuland crippling in thecontext oftheory ofthis and practice. we are told.remains themoststunning and successful examplein recent the We still to further. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . to restrict our consciousness of our as first-world ourselves.76 Fredric Jameson of narrative this political problemis the possibility we will closure. must.and I suppose that the strategic at restructuring thatview of the problemand projecting tural" aims precisely it or collective in some outwardsintotherealmofobjective spirit non-psychological. includea range conception history.is formostof us little history This content downloaded from 129. maygivean indication that"culturalrevolution" as it is projectedin such worksturnson thephenomenon of what Gramscicalled "subalternity.however. morethana curiosity oftheliterary of Czarist ences. necessarily though implicit.was Lenin'sown.and it is specifically theunity mystery.it cannot be dealt with by means of purelypsychological of with means transformations of the be dealt cannot by purelyobjective equally economic and political situationitself. so alien to of cultural revolution and that the achieveus) (now strange problem writersand artistsmust be rementsand failuresof third-world intellectuals.something return to morespecifically.252.That literary real consequpolitical act. again.yetit ships.

. fullyas muchas thatof culture-is susof otherness whichEdward Said. it is clear to me that any articulationof radical of gender.of which Lu Xun spoke. a cautionary But at thispointone shouldinsert reminder about thedangersof I have allowedmyself the conceptof "culture" itself: theveryspeculative remarks to make about Chinese"culture"will not be completeunlessI add that"culture" in thissense is by no meansthe finaltermat whichone stops. On has been accomplished.then. cannibalism:thelast desperate lineslaunchedintothevoid are universal well-nigh the words.83 on Mon.and of the relationship textto futurity and to some collective a formal projectyetto come.by way of a complex and privilege.which proveinstructive hesitationsand anxietiesabout his social role. subjecthimself. structable of a narrative of narrative The matter closure. radical otherness is thatofdifferentiation. the otherhand.that of the deluded in the impossiblesituationof a is verymucha call to the future.thatthe narrative on the real future.Third-World Literature in theEra ofMultinational Capitalism 77 China itself.252. "Diary of a Madman" has in facttwo distinct and incomto examine in lightof the writer's own patible endings." Butthetale has a secondendingas well. grisly reality to therealmofillusion returns beneaththeappearancenowvouchsafed. glimpse paranoidvisionary. Butwe perhapsshouldalso consider thepossibilRussia or of modern in that ourselves are as intellectuals we at ity presentsoundlysleeping thatindeiron room. open up a concreteperspective I mustinterrupt here to interpolate severalobservations beforepromyself ceeding. One ending. I don't see how a first-world intellectual can avoid thisoperation withoutfallingback into some generalliberal and humanisticuniversalism: it in theceaselesseffort seemsto me thatone ofour basic politicaltaskslies precisely of othernational situato remindthe Americanpublic of the radical difference tions.merely or literary-critical issue.86."It does not matter as in of the culturein questionis praisedor valorizedpositively. . One mustimagine This content downloaded from 129. but mybrother is gone elsewhereto take up an officialpost. the nightmare brief and his terrible of the the annulled. is not. difference-that incidentally. called "orientalism. on the point of suffocation. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ."Save thechildren . and once that thepreceding operation pages: theessential the mechanism Said denounceshas been set in place." So. For one thing. in advance. and antithetical textis able to play of simultaneous messages. gratefully and obliviontherein again to take up his place in the space of bureaucratic power I want to suggestthatit is only at thisprice. in the that to ceptible appropriation by strategy muchthatthe contextof theMiddle East.which is disclosed on the opening page. when the older (supposedly cannibalistic) withthefollowing cheerful remark:"I appreciate brother thenarrator your greets recovered sometimeago and has comingsuch a longwayto see us.

consequenceswhich may not obtain in a latersocial configuration.86. such culturalstructures in thebeginning. One cannot acknowledgethe justice of the generalpoststructuralist assault on the so-called "centered subject. beof the "people"-characterized in termsof the nation-state itself. by later generations.anotherand morecomplicated earlier.is very moment. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions ." value." the old unifiedego of and then resuscitatethis same ideological mirage of bourgeois individualism. to resolvemore fundamental as attempts which then contradictions-attempts forwhichtheyweredevised. or evennational"idenNor can I feelthatthe conceptof cultural"identity" tity"is adequate. we need to examine the concretehistoricalsituationcloselyin orderto use of thisconcept.and survive.Lu Xun's thepoliticalconsequencesof the strategic determine in one which a forexample. from the than rather standpointof some dogmatic and placeless perspective.78 Fredric Jameson and attitudes as havingbeen themselves. clearly critiqueof Chinese"culture" and "cultural identity" has powerful and revolutionaryconsequencesThis is then. detectedin Ah Q comes into play: forFortunata This content downloaded from 129. thenbecomepartof the new havingonce been partof the solutionto a dilemma. when contrasted with in his sense. problem. (economicand geographic.s18 of 1868 and the Bourbon restoration tweenthe republicanrevolution of allegoricalreference structure Here too. on collective level in the formof a doctrineof collective the psychicunification need to be evaluated froma historical Appeals to collectiveidentity identity. As faras nationalallegory in considered western literature in order to underits presence what is generally The example I have in mind is the work of differences."Those patterns situationconfronted and. hesitating of 1873. score certainstructural of 19thcentury achievements BenitoPerezGaldos-the last and amongtherichest realism.between Jacinta(1887)-alternating between classes and thewoman thewoman of theupper-middle between and themistress. England peripheral of Fortunata of male find the situation the to y protagonist surprising terribly thewife thetwo womenof thetitle. thenbecome part of the objective themselves "culturalpatterns. the same "floating"or transferable and thealternais also married.17 explained in termsof Immanuel Wallerstein's the of counis not after fashion the 19th strictly peripheral century Spain though semiunder the termthirdworld. to infrastructural realities vitalresponses forexample). third-world invokesthis(to us) ideological When a writer "ideological analysis. way of raisingthe issue of "nationalism" perhaps. to which I referred I think it maybe appropriate to stress is concerned. in reified outlivethesituations as forms.Galdos' novelsare more visiblyallegorical(in the national sense) than thatmight wellbe mostoftheir better-known Europeanpredecessors:16 something Alworld-system terminology. as in the case of Confucianism.252.83 on Mon. it is certainly trieswe are here designating or not It is therefore France.

but also its optionalnature:we can use it to convert situation on the destiny of Spain. restore order.economic.thefilm's stayed onlyerror proson of own? .. racial and and cultural. system thesalvation ofthesocialandmoral then hepassesto a purerace. Here.. and as a merefigural of this intensification the of the last. are proposinghereis a new and more adequate allegorical readingof thisfilm.Deleuze and Guattariarguefora porarydenunciations conceptionof desirethatis at once social and individual. cultural Such allegoricalstructures. What it is important to stressis not merely the wit of the analogyas Galdos theentire of uses it. do? Wellnow. ingtheformation for a radio-taxi andis being treated for heart whoworks overtime service teacher in general. in fact of a return to the But did the timeliness Abraham. allegorical essentially separate absolute way. global of a cortisone delirium: an overworked a high-school father. analytical regressive. deeperinterrelationship. racist. theneedto He begins to rave abouttheeducational trouble. political pedagogical. public private or be abolished by intellectual some more of their diagnosis by adequate theory it seems to me thatwhat Deleuze and Guattari Rather.252.and perhaps God's Abraham liesin having hishand. first-world then. is that delirium ofa field every thatis social.Third-World Literature in theEra ofMultinational Capitalism 79 tion of "revolution" and "restoration" is likewiseadapted to hersituation.19 I am not myself surethatthe objectiveconsequencesof thisessentially social in the the and concrete between and can first-world gap.are not so muchabsentfrom textsas theyare unconscious. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . What the film to the have a his shows so well. he killed or wanted to killhisson.The point hereis that.Butdoesn't thisman. Hmmm. is first ofall theinvestment shame ofpsychiatrists. We cannot feel its forceunless we are convincedof the radical difference between politics and the libidinal: so that its operationreconfirms than whichwas attributed to annuls)thatsplitbetween (rather public and private in our In one of civilization earlier discussion. the more contemwestern powerful of thissplitand thishabit. religion. what Bible.86. but we are also the novelinto an allegoricalcommentary free to reverseits priorities and to read the political analogy as metaphorical decorationforthe individualdrama. thecinema is ableto capture themovement How doesa delirium Perhaps begin? or because it is not but a of madness. as she leaves herlegal home to seek herloverand thenreturns to it in abandonment. experience.and therefore must be deciphered by interprethey tivemechanisms thatnecessarily entaila whole social and historical ofour critique first-world situation. explores precisely film of coexistence. a Nicholas field Witness by supposedly representRay. tagonist. the a delirium to his and delirious his son that family person applies religious: overreaches them on all sides. farfrom and the or individual dramatizing identity political the to structure in tends these levels some psychic.in distinction to the unconcurrent This content downloaded from 129.83 on Mon.

80 Fredric Jameson scious allegoriesof our own culturaltexts. ago. thansilhouettes in the was. this line:]There was searing at all attractive aboutit in fact.and is finally persuadedto undertake hinterland ofDakar to seekout a shamanofreputedly extraordinary powers. makerOusmane Sembene. Elliott of the present talk.Here is the conclusionof his hot and dustyjourneyin a horse-drawn cart: from a ravine. whose huts were village arranged The village which mainentrance. But now I will be moreexplicitand take as mymottoan astonishing passage fromthe novel Xala.are drivensecretlyby the When I spoke of futurity satirist's a moment rage at a fallenreality.as you mayhaveguessed. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .whichis concerned center of his two most his life'swork. he takes to wife. had neither youentered bya single shopnor schoolnordispensary. explores a laborioustripinto the tribal. Now.252. busy people in familiar and greeted Mada's house. It size. by the great contemporary and filmnovelist Senegalese a ritualcurseor affliction.sexual impotence. before youof thevery special occasion turning to honorthe memory of RobertC. No more another to getat whatlittle grassthere a few were around theonly well. All of reference carriesa utopianframe withinitself." mylanguage the socialistproject.86.Shades of The Powerof Satire!. satire.The titledesignates of a very special kind. territory peopleas they passed. Thedriver ofthecart was distance. no matterhow serene or disembodied. The Hadj.third-world national allegoriesare and objectiverelationship consciousand overt:theyimplya radicallydifferent of politicsto libidinaldynamics. they emerged grey-black outagainst thehorizon in themiddle oftheempty weathering.to no avail.as ifinafterthought. As they thatched saw conical with roofs. standing plain.which in reality replicateeach other such thateach is alwayssecretly activewithinthe other'ssphereof influence.20 important his pathbreaking associationof satireand the utopianimpulseas two seemingly antithetical drives(and literary discourses). of Shape of Utopia. to theAfrican I remind texts. Itslifewas basedon theprinciples of nothing community interdependence.at the heightof his fortune.83 on Mon. theunfortunate hero of thisnovel.was identical apart inthecenter wassituated ofthe ina semi-circle.I take it thatthevery and to commemorate The Satire The Power and is to be foundin books. which has been visited on a prosperousand corruptSenegalese businessmanat the momentin which.Sereen from itsimposing in construction with all theothers. there was nothing at all attractive aboutit in fact [Ousmaneconcludes. cattlewith dangerous-looking hornsfencedwithone skinny Free-ranging.desperately of a number both western and remedies.he taughtus.21 This content downloaded from 129. I took in the to withhold world which is another word for pains "utopia. then he adds. necessarily all utopias.thecurseis himself a beautiful young(third) of course.

radical African writers like in like Ousmane.experienceof the mole of History burrowing througha in its traditions the and process. We now know the incalculable role of1959 bytheprotracted ofthe playedin theCuban Revolution guerrilla struggles which the of the Marti is late 19thcentury emblem). was theonlyconceivable nationalautonomy goal. or themselves back in the dilemmaof Lu Ngugi Kenya.Ousmane takespains to bourgeoisie. it was not difficult of representation: to identify an adversary who spoke another of colonial occupation. relationships again the historyof Cuba was the last of the Latin Americannationsto win its Cuba is instructive: which would immediately freedomin the 19th century-a freedom be taken in charge by anothergreatercolonial power. the connections The newerleadersmayof coursethrowofftheir muchmoredifficult to represent.86.83 on Mon. forwhichgenuine in Africain the mid-20th. one wants Cuba would not be the same without to say Thompsonian.then.Third-World Literature in theEra ofMultinational Capitalism 81 thanvirtually thespace of Here. betweenEuropean multinationals but functions as a middle-man and productive. the Hadj was political. past creating specific lengthy So it is that afterthe poisoned giftof independence.252. When those are language and wore the visibletrappings to externalcontrolling forcesare replacedby yourown people. independence that his business is in no sense show us that the Hadj is not an industrialist.find whichhas notyetfound Xun.I hope itis clearthatthisis also very dilemma.and spentsome timein fact:thatin his youth. and and uneasyambivalence. masks and revealthe personof the Dictator. dence movement in Latin America in the 19th The fact of nominal national independence. a deeper such worksare markedabove all by a profound whichcan perhapsonlybe properly fortheDictator. significant The extraordinary and pro-independence activities. bearinga passion forchangeand social regeneration muchan aesthetic a crisis itsagents. newermilitary form: but thismoment also determines problems The dictatornovelhas become a virtualgenreof Latin Americanliterature.moreemblematically any othertextI know. since it is in the revolutionary struggle Here new and a consciousness is developed.contemporary (of figure Jose thatlaboriousand subterranean. puts an end to a movement century. accounted ultimate sympathy This content downloaded from 129.whetherin its older individualor ofrepresentation. satireof jail forhis nationalist thesecorrupt classes (whichOusmane will extendto the personof Senghorhimmarkedas the failureof theindepenselfin The Last of the Empire) is explicitly to developinto a generalsocial revolution. of world collective social a past and future utopia-a cooperation-is dramatithe and westernized into inserted moneyeconomyof the new postcorrupt cally nationalor comprador Indeed. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Nor is thissymbolic myopiathe African to face the of what the states also had effects only problem: crippling receive them is warned Fanon prophetically independence not the against-to itselfthat new social same as to take it. To this biographicalsketch must be added a very local extractionindustries.

22 forby some enlargedsocial variant of The form a the of contemportaken radical failures normally by diagnosis third-world what is societies is. free-loaders the cash is appropriated by a This content downloaded from 129.begins away money-order. be suspectedof any archaizingor nostalgicculturalnationalism.82 Fredric Jameson of theFreudianmechanism of transference. I suspect that the deeper subject of this second novel is not so much the of a modernnationalbureaucracy. conventionally designatedas "culary withoutrepresentable turalimperialism. Yet in a modern the this sacred dutyto into a frenzied assault by economy.parimportant more in modern works like Xala or The as are active ticularly they subtly Money-Order. however.Thus it becomes to determine the significance of thisappeal to oldertribalvalues." a facelessinfluence agents. Viewersmayperhapsremember the The Black Girl. overagainstNgugi's impressive but problematical With the fable.but since there no and he was bornlongbefore are meanwhile the documents.however. cannotcash his Parisiancheckwithout less protagonist identity papers. prophetically in the to a our of vast third-world amountsof time. poor is transformed fromall the levelsof society(at length.83 on Mon. On another thistale raisestheissueofwhatmustfinally be one level. such inconclusively boywearingan archaicmask.at once sinksthemincalculablyinto foreign dream of liquidating. One is led to concludethatunderthesecircumstances traditional realismis less effective thanthesatiricfable:whenceto mymindthegreater powerofcertain The Money-Order) of Ousmane's narratives as (besidesXala. dits and new debts. of the key problemsin any analysisof Ousmane's work.anachronistically. thegreatest dramatizes misfortune thatcan happublishedin 1965. we are clearly back into the whole question of Catch-22 dilemma-its hapThe Money-Order mobilizesthetraditional allegory.yetin a historical either resistance which with perspective fewexceptions is thatoffailure and ultimate defeat. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .namelythe ambiguous role playedin it by archaicor tribalelements. the work concludes with just such another unfulfilled request. however. independence to melt before an of accumulation new creuncashed.Ousmane cannot.whose literof new forms:Manuel Puig's Beary expressionseems to demandthe invention and innovative of trayed byRita Hayworth maybe citedas one ofthemoststriking those.A Muslim has the duty to give alms-indeed.252. we should mention Petals of Blood.however. I am temptedto suggest.namely discovery country pen oil resources--something whichas economists haveshownus.86.in whichtheEuropeanemployer curiousendingofhis first is film. evidentone of the denunciation but rather the historical of the traditional transformation Islamic value of alms-giving in a contemporary moneyeconomy. farfrom representdebts theycan never ing salvation. meanwhile pursuedby thelittle on evoking historical films as Ceddo or Emitai seemintent oldermoments oftribal to Islam or to thewest. that this work.

livetogether sincethe wivesand children with arescattered. led byurban Itcould aboutthelife It is worth knowing something polygamists. unsought unexpected at once transforms the entiresocietyaround him into ferociousand insatiable of Lu Xun's cannibalism.Third-World Literature in theEra ofMultinational Capitalism 83 and affluent. in the oftenhilariousresultsof the moreancient demonstrable ofpolygamy. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . polygamy. to rural where all the be calledgeographical as polygamy. villa.83 on Mon. in theevenings. at the Indeed. He is therefore a source there at bedtime. marriage. the better treasure from fallen heaven for. we are treatedto the vivid spectacleof the Hadj's misery of his third which secure his he moment should social realizeshe status. have elsewherecalled "genericdiscontinuities. of families Because from to villa to and thefather must house is hiswayoflife house. The hero is literally pickedclean by thevultures. Yetwe have all been in error. as it turnsout: the wiveshave not been the sourceof the ritual This content downloaded from 129. text-book exercisein what I and controlled.in a situationin which he suspects each of them in turn as being But the passage I have just read shows thatforhis ritualaffliction.252. termsof which Hadj is read as a suddenly triggers Everything goes wrongall at once.A comic pityand terror accompanies for the personage. like a monetary version in something petitioners. In thetown. however. only go offinance.in effect. still. This is what Ousmane has to say about Islamic and tribalinstitution thatinstitution thatauthorialintervention. thoughit does not imply any great sympathy new westernized a greater revulsion Indeeditconveys society againsttheprivileged ofthewheelof fortune in whichthisrapidoverturning can take place. themostremarkable ofXala.23 when. one genericconvention. primarily whenhe has work. opposed in thesamecompound. no longertolera(it beingunderstood ble in realistic is stillperfectly suitableto theallegoricalfableas a form): narrative."24 in the comic victim. to shuttle from one wife'svilla to has no real home of his own and is condemned the other. thechildren have little contact their father. tribal betweencapitalismand theoldercollective greatcitysecurea juxtaposition formof social life. this process. whichcan feature These are notas yet. and thenews of his disability debtorsbeginto descendon someonewhose his numerous misfortune: a greater bad luck clearlymarkshim out as a loser. westernized influential cousin). The same double historicalperspective--archaic customs radicallytransof capitalistrelations-seems to me formedand denaturedby the superposition in Xala as well. responsible whateverone would wish to think about polygamyin and of itself as an elementdesignedto open up here as a twin-valenced institution-it functions frenzied The more more the and historical tripsof the Hadj through perspective.86. be describedas a stunning virtually in The novel begins.

oftheolder ofthemarket. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . afterall. itsuddenly becomes revealed curse as a ritual in its own right-the entire chainof events becomes Ousmane's own imagined curse likehim. lossofhisdwelling The point I want to make terrible "return oftherepressed. today. are no longer The beggars butin ritual. andthelumpens. youtook falsifying ourlandfrom ofourprotests. I wantto concludewitha fewthoughts on why all thisshouldbe so and on as theprimacy the origins of nationalallegory and statusof what I haveidentified in third-world culture.in whichthe protagonist withthe imminent itself. representational space of thenarrative of thearchaic evenas it foretells reaches theutopian backto touchthepowers ofthefallen in the mode of destruction The word "Brechtian.84 Fredric Jameson reversal andenlargement to someofthe In an abrupt curse.86. Elliott's intotheanthropological adducedforRobert of great insight origins in realactsofshamanistic satiric discourse malediction. The ceremony is lifted to a new generic which realm. which to mind. In spite Not satisfied withtaking ourlandyouhad methrown case in thecourts. to an abominable humiliation and abasement. tragedies. into prison. we suddenly Freuddescribes learnsomething mechanisms abouttheHadj's past: newand chilling before to that "Out story your goesbacka longway.252. What I am now" there. thepreceding textis itself satiric transunexpected generic ending. a satire whosesubject-matter wastheritual curse visited on a character within thenarrative. on theHadj andrequire for descend theremoval of of ritual his xala.It was shortly marriage I wassure woman Don'tyouremember? would not.83 on Mon.or the ravages form.We are. does inadequate to these new inevitably probably justice springs forms which haveemerged from a properly third-world Yetin light ofthis reality. on thePalestinians visited on theNativeAmericans yesterday. ourproof of ownership. andpeople No more confirmation couldbe uponhishero stunning C. you in "what I now is am is Do fault. Mada himself. (comparable generic in "The Uncanny"). retroactively From orcontent formed." present prophecy. thisprimal of butrather forms displacement rhythms It is theoldest of modern collective lifefrom a landnowseizedand privatized.''25 crime ofcapitalism notso much is exposed: Thustheprimordial wagelabor of themoney or theremorseless and impersonal as such. him) (a beggar rags addressing your you remember a largepieceof land at Jekobelonging to our clan? After selling ofpeopleinhigh theclannames with thecomplicity places. we lostour us. ofThe Moneyreintroduced version and significantly by Ousmaneintohisfilm is now threatened Order(calledMandabi). familiar with the mechanisms of auto- This content downloaded from 129." aboutthis is that ofthenarrative: it determines a remarkable transformation we generic suddenly in satire. led bySereen himto submit.

Two equals struggle each dramatizing lifeforthis supreme forrecognition by the other:the one is willingto sacrifice senseof lovingthe value. ness.a naggingdoubt whichthe puzzled mindis unable to formulate.But in thatcase our priorities ofsocial allegory in our culture of thismechanism. a heroiccowardin theBrechtian.252.These two inescapableoperation social allegory well-nigh in termsof situationalconsciousrealitiesare to be grasped.And it is this.like a word unremembered situation the tongue. dying experience poverty of any possibility of grasping bereft withoutcollective the social pasts or futures thisstructural idealismwhichaffords us the This placelessindividuality. "projections"of privatesubjectivity. which must be situationaland materialist despite itself. of a welcome escape fromthe "nightmare luxuryof the Sartreanblink. cannotbut ultimately of theindividualstoryand theindividualexperience telling This content downloaded from 129.86. The the material and well." psychologism All of this is denied to third-world culture.I think. contrasting to the more commontermmaterialism. whilethetruth grimly." But a second reversal himwithall well: fortheslaveis called upon to labor forthemaster and to furnish Butthismeansthat. of of the to individual isolated individual bodies monads. which mustaccount forthe allegoricalnatureof third-world wherethe culture. only his supremacy. It strikes thetop is epistemologically and thatvery same position. an expressionI prefer Hegel's old of be the the Master-Slave most effective relationship26 may still analysis way of thisdistinction between two culturallogics. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .offers it condemns our culture to the the time but at same and history. the material benefits befitting of matter theslaveknowswhat reality and theresistance reallyare.on theotherhand. body of a balefuland inhumanfeudal-aristocratic disdain Master-now thefulfillment of his recognition forlifewithouthonor-proceeds to enjoy the benefits by the and other. finally. gives in. however. Considerthedisrepute and the of in the west'sOther. Schweykian in to world too order continue life. is to that that Master. in a structurally mustbe reversed forproperunderstanding Perhaps. cisely in of his idealism-to theluxuryof a placelessfreedom whichany consciousness on thetip of own concrete fleeslike a dream.now become his humbleserfor slave. But at this point two distinct now ironic take the Master is reversals human. totality. place: only dialectically genuinely so that"recognition" sub-human form of lifewhichis theslave bythishenceforth no genuinesatisfaction.in theEra ofMultinational Third-World Literature Capitalism 85 in contemporary to be takenas western literature: is thisnot simply referentiality distinctsocial and cultural context? another form of that. and offers evaporatesat the momentof its attainment "is the "The truth of theMaster.are in something of we masters me thatwe Americans. onlytheslave consciousnessof his situation. to the reducesits subjectsto the illusionsof a host of fragmented subjectivities."Hegel observes of Slave. of theworld. The other.in theend.83 on Mon. is in processas the Slave.is the Master.The view from crippling. since it is precan attain some true materialistic The condemned to he is condemned.

Chronicleof "To Reclaim a Legacy.252. 471-514. The essaywas written of California.murmuring greatdenial. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions . Skocpol'sStatesand Social Revolutions This content downloaded from 129. pp." But we must not allow ourselvesthat feeling at all attractive its ultimate "Its lifewas based withoutalso acknowledging mockingcompletion: of community on the principles interdependence. Modes of Production(London: Hindess and Paul Hirst. in honorof my lecture foran immediate occasion-the thirdmemorial 3." in Anti-Oedipus. 1. PrivateProperty and theState (1884) 5."Text of a report 4.H.Absalom!. HigherEducation. and Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari.whichare formally verydifferent distinct constitute and to whichthey whichsuch textsspring from responses. Review. 14 (Nov.83 on Mon. thatthekindof comparative essaybut whichshouldbe statedexplicitly plicitin thepresent literature involves work demandedby thisconceptof third-world comparison. See "Reification fortheimportance 2. trans. Such workssuggesta moregeneralmethodological here:first. trans. 1 (1979). exposure reality. and we maywell feel. 16-21. Seem. The whole matter (London: Verso.R. Barry Monthly Routledge and Kegan Paul. I havearguedelsewhere and Utopia in Mass Culture.but only more recently publishedsectionof Marx's Grundrisse." Marxism and "Primitive"Societies. pp. Minnesota press. M.distantly approach suggeststhe possibility of Barrington Moore and exemplified in books like Theda modelledon the new comparative history or EricWolf'sPeasantRevolutions Such a ofthe20th Century. Stavrianos(Morrow. The classictextsare F.The Originof theFamily. and The Three Worlds. It is essentially RobertC. San Diego. CivilizedMen. (Minneapolis:University trans. by History. reprinted on the Humanities.that"therewas nothing of theothertwo-thirds withthedailyreality about it in fact. Lane. 1982). theepistemological of thisunfamiliar I hope I havesuggested kindof priority I for but must admit that old habits die and that us such hard.1983).not of the individual from each other.by L. 28. 1977) inviteus to do. 1984). Wolf(California. of M. ofmass culture and sciencefiction.therehave also whose validity Besides mode-of-production theory. Elliot at the University late colleague and friend as given. workson third-world as a unified of important history yearsa number synthesizing appeared in recent field. William Bennett.MartinNicolaus (London: NLB/Penguin. capitalisteconomicformations. and Tom Nairn's The Breakup of Britain ing essay Imagined Communities (London: New LeftBooks.S. Barbarians. Engels. is in any case widelydebated. Hurley. of theglobe. oftencalled "Preand the earlier. XXIX.but of the concrete situations and culturally texts. or to to collective unaccustomed the is often intolerable. allegoricalvision.confronted however. (New York: See also Emmanuel Terray. the leavingus in Quentin'spositionat theend ofAbsalom. totality. pp."Social Text no."Savages. by Eric R.1983). Europe and thePeople without PeterWorsley consequenceim(Chicago. 139-271.1981).and second. Klopper.86.R.Three works in particulardeservemention:Global Rift. 1973)." NOTES Anderson's interestas Benedict of nationalism shouldperhapsbe rethought. 1975). 1984).Pre-Capitalist 1972). "I don't hate theThird World!I don't! I don't! I don't!" Eventhatresistance is instructive.thatsuch an of a literary and culturalcomparatismof a new type. 130-148.86 Fredric Jameson of the experience of the collectivity involve the whole laborioustelling itself.

en aquel periodo sedanteque seguila infaliblemente a sus desvarios. "Lordshipand Bondage. the role of intellectuals." Fortunatay Jacinta(Madrid: EditorialHernando.1958). 457. respectively. 66. configuration need notbe restricted and so forth. Princeton of Chicago Press. in Science Fiction:Brian Aldiss' Starship. is also perceived as resisting NorthAmericaninfluence. alchemy.no era aquello virtud.while oppressing own people.an analysiswhose variableswould necessarily as the interthe dynamicsof language and writing. 25. See theinteresting discussions Gilman.En realidad. 10. 40. 274. 11. "Generic Discontinuities #2 (1973). ImmanuelWallerstein. 26. Such comparatism. pp. SembeneOusmane. 57-68. SigmundFreud (London: Hogarth.p. VolumeXII. 122. 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .1973]. op. p.252. op. Dickes. chapter2. 111-119.desde los uiltimos dias del 74. sino casancio del del orden.The otherbasic of thisargument is Lukics' epistemology in Historyand Class Consciousphilosophicalunderpinning This content downloaded from 129. Ibid. however.V. "when thenecessity of observing the simple.1960. The Phenomenology of Mind.Third-World Literature in the Era of Multinational Capitalism 87 would juxtapose the studyof the differences and similarities new culturalcomparatism of specific and cultural textswitha moretypological situations from literary analysisofthevarioussocio-cultural include such features which theyspring..1972).A. A HistoryofChina. forms. SelectedStoriesof Lu Hsun. 435-549. 23.(Oxford: OxfordUniversity Press.op.Xala. Ibid. p. pp. 18. no era el sentimiento puroy regular Verificaibase lo que don Baldomerohabia dicho del pais: que padecia fiebres alternativas de libertady de paz. The Modern WorldSystem(New York: AcademicPress. For example: "El Delfin habia entrado.. "PsychoanalyticNotes on an AutobiographicalAccount of a Case of The Standard Edition of the Complete PsychologicalWorksof Paranoia. See forexampleWolfram UniverEberhard.1970. cit. 110-111. 15. 13.1981). Xala. 69. 2-3." 9. Sigmund Freud. of traditional the relationship to western the development of urban influences. the relationshipof social classes.W. 585 (PartIII. p.books on the art of war. cit. too. I am indebtedto PeterRushtonforsome of theseobservations. trans. experience literature."Science FictionStudies 24. Socialismwill become a reality.Clive Wake. Anderson. p. Deluze and Guattari." pp. trans. Lu Xun.. 19." (State and Revolution[Beijing: fundamental ForeignLanguages Press. Hegel. See forexample. rules of human intercourse" has "become a habit.) in Stephen 16. 22.83 on Mon.pp. 72.1977): SectionB. in a similar way. (Berkeley: 8. can be read as books on sexual relations.1974). 1-6.(Westport. p. 12. Ibid.Perry State (London: New LeftBooks.Gald6s and theArtof theEuropean Novel: 1867-1887 (Princeton: Princeton Press. Press. trans.. to third-world and money.1968).. and University University 21. Ibid. of or "When 105: we hear books about of California read it we should 1977). ChapterIV.W. 5.James Strachey. en e1 pecado.. pp. 6.: LawrenceHill. p." trans. I am indebted to Carlos Blanco Aguinagaforthe suggestion thatin theLatin American novel this ambivalencemay be accountedforby the factthatthe archetypal his Dictator. 20. Ibid. pp. trans. sity alwayskeepin mindthatmanyofthesebooks can also be read as books ofsex. G. 1976). section2).sinoel hastiode la revoluci6n. Press. p.E.p. Conn. 7. Miller. Lineages of theAbsolutist 1974). 14. PartA-3. Xala.86. cit. Lenin observes. p.. University 17.Gladys Yang and Yang Hsien-yi(Beijing:Foreign Languages Press.F.

" ofjustsuchmapping ofthe a form "national isclearly so that the What called is here totality.Derrida M.Arac.00 (4 issues) Send checkto: New Political Science Science.pp. NY 10027 Single issues: $5. dominating "Mapping" #146[July-August. 53-92). 4 Nov 2013 11:36:51 AM All use subject to JSTOR Terms and Conditions .. allegory" ofthird-world a theory ofthecognitive aesthetics a sketches literature-forms present essay-which ofthecultural onpostmodernism which thelogic ofthefirst describes totheessay imperalism pendant world States. rather than classes. theCultural 1984].88 Fredric Jameson orthegrasping ofthesocialtotality nessaccording towhich is structurally tothe available "mapping" I have the isa term usedin"Postmodernism. Norton. 15 "On the Declaration of Independence" and Politics Literature J.50 This content downloaded from 129. ofPolitical ColumbiaUniv. "Wollstonecraft's Critiqueof Adam Smith. Sommer." D." and theLiberalSelf.252. Blanchot "Marx's ThreeVoices" Plus and theAmerican J. (NewLeftReview Logicof Late Capitalism. dominated or." T. NY."Deleuzeand PoliticalScience Fiction. "Mathiessen Renaissance. "Whitman C. Kay." Individual subscriptions: $20.83 on Mon.86. Dept. andaboveall oftheUnited New PoliticalScience Summer1986 No.