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Frederic Jameson: Fredric Jameson is considered to be one of the most important and influential li terary and cultural critic

and theoretician in the Marxist tradition of the Engl ish speaking world. In "Postmodernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism"Ja meson attempts to characterize the nature of cultural production in the second h alf of the 20thcentury, the era of late capitalism, and to distinguish it from ot her forms of cultural production of preceding capitalist eras. A substantial par t of Jameson's "Postmodernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism" is dedic ated to differential analysis of works of art and architecture from what Jameson terms "high modernism" and postmodern works. He characterizes the postmodern mo de of production as a "cultural dominant" in the wake of concepts like "depthles sness" or the suppression of depth, the waning of affect and pastiche, terms whi ch according to Jameson relate to the postmodern form of production and experien ce. The problem of periodization and the cultural dominant The concept of postmodernism immediately raises the issue of periodization, enta iled by the prefix "post-" assigned to the time of modernism. When did modernism begin and when did it end? Is it possible to set clear temporal boundaries betw een modernism and postmodernism? Jameson believes that it is possible to speak o f cultural modes with in a defined timeline. Nevertheless, he restricts his peri odization of postmodernism to the unbinding notion of cultural dominant which ha s a degree of flexibility which still allows for other forms of cultural product ion to coexist alongside it. In the notion of cultural dominant Jameson stays true to the Marxist tradition o f tying culture with the political and economical state of society. This stance holds that the socio-economical structure of a society is reflected in a society 's cultural forms. Jamson relies on the work of Ernest Mandel that divided capitalism into three di stinct periods which coincide with three stages of technological development: in dustrialized manufacturing of steam engines starting from the mid 19thcentury, th e production of electricity and internal combustion engines since the late 90's of the 19thcentury and the production of electronic and nuclear devices since the 1940's. these three technological developments match three stages in the evolut ion of capitalism: the market economy stage which was limited to the boarders of the nation state, the monopoly or imperialism stage in which courtiers expanded their markets to other regions and the current phase of late capitalism in whic h borders are no longer relevant. Jameson proceeds to match these stages of capi talism with three stages of cultural production, the first stage with realism, t he second with modernism and the current third one with our present day postmode rnism. Postmodernism according to Jameson is therefore a cultural form which has develo ped in the wake of the socio-economical order of present day capitalism. Again, postmodernism in Jameson's view is not an all-encompassing trend but rather a cu ltural dominant that affects all cultural productions. This approach accounts fo r the existence of other cultural modes of production (thus protecting Jameson f rom criticism) while still enabling to treatment of our time as postmodern. Othe r types of art, literature and architecture which are not wholly postmodern are still produced nowadays, but nevertheless postmodernism is the field force, the state of culture, through which cultural urges of very different types have to g o. No one today is free from the influence, perhaps even rein, of postmodernism. The rest of Fredric Jameson's "Postmodernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capit alism" is mostly devoted to the illustration of this initial claim by examining

different examples of cultural products while continuing to develop some theoret ical issues. Fredric Jameson / postmodernism: depthlessness

The first characteristic of postmodernism defined by Fredric Jameson in "Postmod ernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism" is that ofdepthlessness.A modern painting, Jameson suggests, invites interpretation, a hermeneutic development an d completion of the world which is beyond what is represented. In a postmodern w ork, to put in simply, what you see is what you get, and no hermeneutic relation s will be developed with the representation. This depthlessness is seen by James on as a new kind of superficiality. Jameson illustrates his point of depthlessness by two thematically related works : Van Gogh's "A Pair of Shoes" which represents high modernism and Andy Warhol's "Diamond Dust Shoes" which are obviously postmodern. Jameson quotes Heidegger's interpretation of Van Gogh's works as one which invit es the reconstruction of a whole peasant world and dire life and offers another possible interpretation of his own which follows the basic notion of addressing something which is beyond the actual shoes in the painting. In contrast, "Diamond dust shoes" do not "speak to us", as Jameson puts it. Diff erent associations are possible when looking at a Warhol's work, but they are no t compelled by it nor are they necessarily required by it. Nothing in the postmo dern work allows a lead into a hermeneutic step. Warhol's work is therefore an example of postmodern depthlessness because we can not find anything which stands behind the actual image. Warhol is of course famo us for stressing the commercialization of culture and the fetishism of commoditi es of late capitalism, but the stress in not positive or negative or anything at all, it just is. The depthlessness of cultural products raises the question of the possibility of critical or political art in late capitalism, especially when Jameson argues that aesthetic production today has turned into a part of the ge neral production of commodities, an assertion which will be addressed later on. Fredric Jameson / Postmodernism: The Waning of Affect Fredric Jameson - Postmodernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism - summa ry Another deference between high or late modernism and postmodernism which Fredric Jameson locates in "Postmodernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism" is what he calls "the waning of affect". When we look at modern painting with human figures we will most often find in th em a human expression which reflects and inner experience, such as in Edvard Mun ch's "The Scream" which epitomizes the modern experience of alienation and anxie ty. In contrast, Jameson holds to that in postmodern art feelings wane (therefor e "the waning of affect"). The concept of expression, Jameson notes, presupposes a model of inside and outs ide, a distinction between ones inner and outside world and the individual perso n as a single monad. But when we look at postmodern portrait such as Warhol's Ma rilyn we can hardly speak of any expression, and that is because, Jameson holds, postmodernism rejects traditional models of the depth (seedepthlessness) such as the Freudian model of conscious and unconscious or the existential model of aut hentic and unauthentic. The idea of the subject as a monad, of individualism, is a 19thand early 20thcentu

ry capitalistic bourgeois notion. With the rise of global economy this notion be gan to fade away with the sole trader, consumer and employee made insignificant, reduced to statistical numbers. Private human agency plays little part in the f aceless era of corporate economy and Jameson notes how the crisis of alienation and anxiety gave way to the fragmentation of subject or "death of the subject". Jameson proceeds to describe the waning of affect through the process in which t he subject has lost his active ability to create a sense of continuity between p ast and future and to organize his temporal existence into one coherent experien ce. This reduces his cultural production abilities to nothing but random and ecl ectic "piles of fragments" Summary: Fredric Jameson / Postomodernism: Pastiche and pop history Pastiche is one of the main characteristics of cultural production in the age of postmodernism according to Fredric Jameson. The existence of an autonomous subj ect was an essential part of artistic as cultural production in the modern times , Jameson argues. It allowed for the artist as subject to the address his consum er as subject and thus to affect him. But with the waning of affect the artist's unique individuality, one a founding principle, has been reduced in the postmod ern age to a neutral and objectifying form of communication. With the fragmentat ion of subjectivity and subjectivity in a sense coming to a gloomy end, it is no longer clear what postmodern artists and authors are supposed to do beside appe aling to the past, to the imitation of dead styles, an "empty parody" without an y deep or hidden meanings, a parody that Jameson calls pastiche. Pastiche, like parody, is the imitation of some unique style, but it is an empty neutral practice which lacks the intension and "say" of parody, not satirical i mpulse and no "yin" to be exposed by the "yang". The postmodern artist is reduce d to pastiche because he cannot create new aesthetic forms, he can only copy old ones without creating any new meanings. Pastiches leads to what is referred to in architectural history as "historicism" which is according to Jameson a random cannibalism of past styles. This canniba lism, pastiche, in now apparent in all spheres of cultural production but reache s its epitome in the global, American centered, television and Hollywood culture . When the past is being represent through pastiche the result is a "lost of histo ricalness". The past is being represented as a glimmering mirage. Jameson calls this type of postmodern history "pop history" a history founded on the pop image s produces by commercial culture. One of the manifestations of this pastiche pop history are nostalgic or retro films and books which present the appearance of an historical account when in fact these are only our own superficial stereotype s applied to times which are no longer accessible to us. Jameson lengthily discusses the brilliant " Ragtime" by E.L.Doctorowas a postmode rn novel and notes George Lucas's "American Graffiti"asa movie which attempts to ca pture a lost reality in the history of the untied-states. Pastiche, then, is the only mode of cultural production allowed by postmodernism according to Jameson. Fredric Jameson / Postmodernism: high culture and popular culture the case of Bo naventure hotel Fredric Jameson - Postmodernism or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism - summa ry part Depthlessness, pastiche, the fragmentation of the subject and other characterist ics of postmodern culture introduced by Fredric Jameson (see previous parts of t he summary) strongly question the notion of "high culture" as opposed to popular

culture. Jameson notes how boundaries between high and low culture have been tr ansgressed in postmodern times with kitsch and popular culture integrating with forms of high culture to produce one big varied consumer culture. Jameson argues that not only is postmodernism a cultural dominant (i.e. the domi nant form of cultural production) but that it has turned into a prime consumer p roduct, with the aesthetic production being integrated into the general producti on of consumer goods. The growing need to produce ever newer products now alloca tes an essential structural position to aesthetic novelty. Jameson notes to the aesthetic field which has the strongest ties with the econo mical system is that of architecture which has strong ties with real-estate and development which give rise to a tide of postmodern architecture, epitomized in the grandeur of shopping malls. Jameson famously analyzes the postmodern features of the L.A.Westin Bonaventure h otel. His main argument concerning the Bonaventure hotel is that this building, as other postmodern architecture, does not attempt to blend into its surrounding s but to replace them. The Bonaventure hotel attempts to be a total space, a who le world which introduces a new form of collective behavior. Jameson sees the to tal space of the Bonaventure hotel as an allegory of the new hyper-space of glob al market which is dominated by the corporations of late capitalism. It seems that in Postmodernism Jameson often laments the shortcomings of postmod ern culture, though there is also a sense of inevitability in his writing. Postm odernism according to Jameson is an historical situation, and therefore it will be wrong to assess it in terms of moral judgments. Jameson proposes to treat pos tmodernism in line with Marx's thought which asks us to "do the impossible" of s eeing something as negative and positive at the same time, accepting something w ithout surrendering judgment and allowing ourselves to grasp this new historical form. Synopsis of FREDRIC JAMESON ''Postmodernism, or The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism'' In this essay, Jameson lays out the differences in culture between the modern an d postmodern periods. He also devotes a lot of time to the effects of these chan ges on the individual. Jameson is concerned with the cultural expressions and ae sthetics associated with the different systems of production. He is not interest ed in a mechanism of change. This is a primarily descriptive article. Jameson dr aws on the fields of architecture, art and other culturally expressive forms to illustrate his arguments. The heaviest emphasis is placed on architecture. It is essential to grasp postmodernism as discussed here not as a style, but as a dom inant cultural form indicative of late capitalism. Postmodernism is differentiated from other cultural forms by its emphasis on fra gmentation. Fragmentation of the subject replaces the alienation of the subject which characterized modernism. Postmodernism is concerned with all surface, no s ubstance. There is a loss of the center. Postmodernist works are often character ized by a lack of depth, a flatness. Individuals are no longer anomic, because t here is nothing from which one can sever ties. The liberation from the anxiety w hich characterized anomie may also mean a liberation from every other kind of fe eling as well. This is not to say that the cultural products of the postmodern e ra are utterly devoid of feeling, but rather that such feelings are now free-flo ating and impersonal. Also distinctive of the late capitalist age is its focus o n commodification and the recycling of old images and commodities. A prime examp le of this is Warhol's work, as well as Warhol himself. Jameson refers to this c ultural recycling as historicism - the random cannibalization of all styles of t he past. It is an increasing primacy of the 'neo' and a world transformed into s heer images of itself. the actual organic tie of history to past events is being lost. All of these cultural forms are indicative of postmodernism, late capitalism, or what Jameson calls 'present-day multinational capitalism.' (Yessirree, Jameson

is a Marxist.) Jameson claims that there has been a radical shift in our surroun ding material world and the ways in which it works. He refers to an architectura l example, a postmodern building Symbolic of the multinational world space which we function in daily. We, the human subjects who occupy this new space have not kept pace with the evolution which produced it. There has been a mutation in th e object, unaccompanied as yet by an equivalent mutation in the subject; we do n ot yet possesses the perceptual equipment to match this new hyperspace. Therein lies the source of our fragmentation as individuals. This latest mutation in space, postmodern hyperspace, (the Bonaventura hotel is the example) has finally succeeded in transcending the capacities of the individ ual human body to locate itself, to organize its immediate surroundings perceptu ally, and cognitively to map its position in a mappable external world. This is the symbol and analougue of our inability at present to map the great global mul tinational and decentered communicational network in which we find ourselves cau ght as individual subjects. We are now a world where spatial differentiation is more important than temporal differentiation, which was dominant in past eras. L ate capitalism aspires to a total space, a vastness of scale heretofore unknown.