Marxism 3: Methodologies and Marxist Literary Theorists Marxism: Focuses Dialectic Materialism -- Marx and Vulgar Marxi sm Literature,Society & Ideology: Althusser and Gramsci Marxist Literary Theorists: Macherey, Jameso n and Eagleton Foucault & Althusser and Gramsci: Q
&A How does Althusser revise traditional marxism? How are Althusser and Gramsci similar to and dif ferent from each other in their views of ideology/ hegemony? How do they help us understand literature more? Methodologies: Some Suggestions (Ref. Chap 5 p. 222) Class relations, economic determinism and the in
fluences of (literary) relations of production in or o f the texts Art and ideology: contradictions within some ideo logies or between ideologies and reality in a text or a group of texts. Pierre Macherey: the Textual Unsaid Eagletons Materialist Criticism Jameson: Three horisons of interpretation Their views on History Pierre Macherey the split text; the textual unsaid A text is as split as a Lacanian subject.
Split between its overt (or intended) meaning and it s unconscious or the hidden (and unintended) me aning caused by literary form; contradictions ideology; the material conditions of production in the society in w hich the text is produced and consumed. Pierre Macherey the textu al unsaid/unconscious Is constructed in the moment of its entry into literar y form. literary genre as a constraint
the critics: do not look for unity, but for the multi plicity and diversity of its possible meanings, its inc ompleteness, the omissions which it displays but c annot describe, and above all its contradictions. (Belsey 109) the textual unsaid example 1 Its pattern: enigma followed by disclosure (with t otal explicitness and scientific spirit); The stories are haunted by shadowy, mysteriou s and silent women. Sherlock Holmes
the textual unsaid example 2 1999 : Notting hill -- cultural stereotypes (source: H ugh Grant's repressed British mannerisms are contrasted to Julia Roberts' more laid-back Am erican behaviour; Grant as an underdoga me re second-hand bookstoore owner hoping to h ave a relationship with a movie star. http://www.scholars.nus.edu.sg/literature/althusserandmacherey.html ) the textual unsaidNotti ng hill Notting Hill, has a large population of Caribbean immigra
nts. Most Londoners would associate Notting Hill with its yearly carnival, a celebration of Black British culture. The film: the only black -- an American movie producer. Race is an unconscious element of the movie, and at t he same time "what it cannot say." the film subscribes to the ideology of Englishness. Pierre Macherey (for refere nce) We should question the work as to what it does not and c annot say, in those silences for which it has been made. The concealed order of the work is thus less significant th
an its real determinant disorder (its disarray). The order which it professes is merely an imagined order, projected onto disorder, the fictive resolution of ideological conflicts , a resolution so precarious that it is obvious in the very le tter of the text where incoherence and incompleteness bu rst forth  This distance which separates the work from the ideology which it transforms is rediscovered in the ver y letter of the work: it is fissured, unmade even in its maki ng. (Pierre Macherey, A Theory of Literary Production: 11 5) Terry Eagletons Materialis t Criticism General Ideology (GI) Authorial Ideology (AuI)
The Text Aesthetic Ideology (AI) Literary Mode of Production (LMP) General Mode of Production (GMP) Modes of production:
General and Literary 1. 2. 3. General Mode of Production (GMP) and Literary Mode of P roduction (LMP) Every LMP is constituted by structure of production, distribu tion, exchange, and consumption It's important to analyse the complex articulations of these various LMPs with the 'general' mode of production of a so cial formation. For instance, how oral LMP can keep its tra ces in a written text.
E.g. circulating library in the Victorian age, oral traces in no vel and dramatic monologue; traditional novel vs. hypterficti on; web page. General Ideology (GI), Authorial Ideol ogy (AuI) and Aesthetic Ideology (AI) GI is not an "ideal type of ideology in general," but the d ominant ensemble of ideologies in social formation (54). (e.g. Modernist Ideology: alienation, individualism, liber al humanism, elitism, etc. ) AuI is the effect of the author's mode of biographical ins ertion into GI. (elitism Eliots emphasis on individual t alents and tradition; his critique of capitalist society) Aesthetic ideology (e.g. of dramatic monologue, stream of consciousness)
T. S. Eliots The Love Son g of J. Alfred Prufrock What is the poem about? How do you characteri ze Prufrock? What stages does he go through i n this poem? How does dramatic monologue help present the ideas of this poem? What ideologies does the p oem criticize, support and/or embody? T. S. Eliots The Love Son g of J. Alfred Prufrock
Five parts: 1. Decision: Let us go then; (other: city) 2. Procrastination: And indeed there will be time. (other: living room rituals; self: questions) 3. Destination described: For I have known them all . . . (other: formulas and ornaments; self: crab, etc.) 4. Doubt: And would it have been worth it. . . 5. Self-Rejection: No, I am not Prince Hamlet (self: the Fool; other: mermaid) The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock --dramatic mon ologue A genre in which self-centeredness is both foregro unded and critiqued.
Prufrock: Self vs. Society Self-aware speaks to himself; worries about his reputat ion (like the man from the inferno) of his appearance; (prep are a face) Indecisive: there will be t ime. Good-intentioned (with lo
ve) The city: Sick and dirty, (evening, back street, sawdust restaurant, fog & smoke,) 2. The polite society good-mannered, ritualistic (plate, toast, tea, etc.), but superficial and judgmental (the eyes that fix you). 1.
Prufrock: Self-Pity vs. SelfLove Self-centered; projects his spiritual malaise on his physical envir onment John the baptist; La zerus Self-rejection The city: --working class invisible; -- etherize evening; 2. The Universe turned into a ball;
3. The other mermaid; somet hing mythically remote an d romantic. anticipate Eliots interest in classical culture. 1. T. S. Eliots authorial ideologies Son of an aristocratic St. Louis family A poet must take as his material his own language as it is actually spoken around him. --Correlatively, the duty of the poet, as Eliot emphasized in a 1943 lecture, is
only indirectly to the people: his direct duty is to his language, first to preserve, and second to extend and improve. --Thus he dismisses the so-called social function of poetry. Eagleton on Eliot Goes to Europe with a mission of re-defining the organic unity of i ts cultural traditions, and reinserting provincial England into that t otality. The organic unity of late Romanticism + classicism; the surrend er of personality to order, reason, authority and tradition. A latent contradiction between Eliots concern for art as organic o rder and his insistence on the sensuously mimetic properties of p
oetic language. (e.g. Traditional and Individual Talent vs. Lov e Song) The metaphysical poets as a solution. The Waste Land Cultures collapse, but Culture survies, and it s form is The Waste Land. Eliots views of culture and tradition (for reference) Culture - `that which makes life worth living': one's total way of life, including art and education, but also cooking and sports. By tradition, also, Eliot means both a conscious and an unconscious life in a social continuum.... He speaks of culture metaphorically as the `incarnation' of a religion, the
human manifestation of a superhuman reality. A culture's religion `should mean for the individual and for the group something toward which they strive, not merely something which they possess. (Contemporary Authors Online, Gale, 2003. ) Jamesons three horizons of criticism from immanent analysis to transcendent one 1. a level of immanent analysis, = text as a symbolic act 2. a level of socio-discourse analysis, = text as class discourse 3. an epochal level of Historical reading = text as being embedded in a field of forces of the dynamic of various
sign systems. (The textual heterogeneity can only be understood only as it relates to social and cultural heterogeneity outside the text.) Tony Harrison
Born on 30 April 1937 in Leeds, a metropolis of England s industrial North. His father --a baker, and his mother, a housewife. Harrison reads his own childhood [education] as a fall--p erhaps fortunate, perhaps not--from the paradise of his f amilys love, brought about by eating of the fruit of the tr ee of knowledge. (British Writers) His concerns: bridge the gap between his workin g-class origins and his upper-class education. His style: usages of rimes and puns. Tony Harrison: Marked with D Questions: 1. ? What does "D" mean in this poem? How is
this poem a parody of the original nursery rime? 2. What is "heaven" for this baker, and for the speaker? 3. Why does the speaker feel sorry for the baker? Why is the baker turned into a dough or "smoke [. . .] and ash for one small loaf"? Marked with D Rimes, Puns and Parody The poems puns D- death, duty, Dough for death or uniform
identity (oaf). Flame passion/death Rise rise from grave to heaven Rimes: over/heaven; daily bread ( The Lords Prayer) / lead; Oaf/loaf
The nursery rime: B baby; Cake for nourishment The unsaid: (Ref. Chap 5) B bourgeoisie; as fast as you can the ba kers productivity. Marked with D Rimes, Puns and Parody
The poems puns D- death, duty, Dough for death or uniform identity (oaf). Flame passion/death Rise rise from grave to heaven Rimes: over/heaven; daily bread ( The Lords Prayer) / lead; Oaf/loaf
The nursery rime: B baby; Cake for nourishment The unsaid: (Ref. Chap 5) B bourgeoisie; as fast as you can the ba kers productivity. Marked with D as a
symbolic act Critique of capitalist society Three kinds of ideological control Heaven as a reward after death; religion serving capitalism. mortal speech England the state which controls the worker. A disguise of, but not a release from mortal speech that ke pt him down, the tongue that weighed like lead ideologies which control the workers and hide materialist reality (mortal speech mortality; tongue eating for survival) The speakers position:
sympathy; Empowerment smoke no one see rise, sting[s] ones eyes The Student paper Thesis paragraph: the first one. The poem records and evaluates the bakers life; Revolution is the solution to social inequality. The Student paper: Development of ideas 1. Capitalist implications of the nursery rime;
2. The bakers life and desire. The bakers work as a parallel to his cremation; The title and the metaphor of flesh as dough; Fire the bakers desire for heaven; Heaven as part of a capitalist ideology of productivity; 3. The speakers views of the ideological control. He gets it all from Earth; the workers hunger for release from mortal speech The worker will not rise England; Solution revolution the small loaf not marked with D ?
The Student paper: improvement Are there enough clues for revolution in this poem? Should have clearer topic sentences with logical transition s. Marked with D 2nd level a level of socio-discourse analysis The poem as represent Harrisons troubled relations with his own workingclass background. (different but not completely unlike that of Lawrence s position in relation to his miner background.) In "Punchline", Harrison writes movingly, but with his customary patronisin g tone, of his father's political allegiances: No! Revolution never crossed your mind! For the kids who never made it t hrough the schools the Northern working class escaped the grind as bo xers or comedians, or won the pools.
(http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m0FQP/4430_129/54682687/p1/article.jhtml ) Marked with D 2nd level a level of socio-discourse analysis His later works: criticized for being dogmatic or unconvincing.
The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus (1990) the play end s with a supposedly climactic scene where the disposse ssed rise up in rebellion against their masters. The sce ne is embarrassing rather than inspiring, though, for Ha rrison fails to make the audience believe that this is the scorned proletariat that exists in society today. His filmed poem "v." (1987)-- the poet meeting a skin head in the cemetery where his parents were buried w as hailed as a masterpiece by the liberal establishment and vilified by the right. The poem seems both dated and unrealistic now. (The aggressive skinhead ques tioned as a symbol for the disaffected youth of today)
Marked with D 3nd level As part of the struggle of working clas ses for equality. How do we understand history, which i s twice removed from us? Macherey on History the work is the writers response to a situation it is an
answer to a problem/question he sets himself and he can be ideologically aware of what this question is. The real problem, however, is the question of that question the first question is already an answer to another question the first question (the one the writer might be aware of) is an ideologically conditioned question posed by the writers historical situation. Macherey on History work = response to ideological question ideological response to history (the question behind the question).
Eagleton on history Text Signifier Signification Signified IDEOLOGY Signifier Signified History The relation between text and ideology: like that bet ween theatric performance and a play. Jameson on History History as an absent cause:
"it [History] is inaccessible except through textual forms. and . . . our approach to it and to the Real itself necessarily passes through its prior textuali zation, its narrativization in the political unconsci ous." (33) References British Writers. Supplement 5. George Stade and Sarah Hannah Goldstein, editors. Charles Scribn ers Sons, 1999. Terry Eagleton Criticism and Ideology. Catherine Belsey, Critical Practice (New York: M ethuen, 1980)
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