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Fredric Jameson Biography

(1934– ), Marxism and Form

American scholar and critic, born in Cleveland, Ohio, educated at Haverford College and Yale. Perhaps the most distinguished English-language Marxist literary theorist of the post-Second World War period, Jameson has taught at Yale, the University of California, and Duke University. His initial engagement was with Sartre and with French philosophy and literature, but he also confronted the work of Georg Lukács and the Russian Formalists (see formalism). His early books, Marxism and Form (1971) and The Prison-House of Language: A Critical Account of Structuralism and Russian Formalism (1972), chart with great intelligence and rigour the political and literary implications of Structuralism and its forebears and descendants. Jameson has also written interestingly on Wyndham Lewis (in Fables of Aggression, 1979), and on film (Signatures of the Visible, 1990; The Geopolitical Aesthetic: Cinema and Space in the World System, 1992) and other contemporary modes of cultural production. The Political Unconscious (1981) remains faithful to Marxism while incorporating a number of other strands of modern European thought (see marxist literary criticism). Jameson's later work includes several volumes of theoretical essays, and Postmodernism: The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991) where an intricate and ambiguous cultural climate is explored through a persistent belief in the continuing flexibility and force of materialist accounts of the world. See also cultural materialism and post-modernism.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Robin’ [Iris Guiver Wilkinson] ‘Hyde Biography to Percy Janes Biography