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Marxism 3: Methodologies and Marxist Literary Theorists.

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Presentation on theme: "Marxism 3: Methodologies and Marxist Literary Theorists."— Presentation transcript:

1 Marxism 3: Methodologies and Marxist Literary Theorists

2 Marxism: Focuses  Dialectic Materialism -- Marx and Vulgar Marxism  Literature,Society & Ideology: Althusser and Gramsci  Marxist Literary Theorists: Macherey, Jameson and Eagleton  Foucault & 文學社會學的多重互動模式

3 Althusser and Gramsci: Q & A  How does Althusser revise traditional marxism?  How are Althusser and Gramsci similar to and different from each other in their views of ideology/hegemony?  How do they help us understand literature more?

4 Methodologies: Some Suggestions  (Ref. Chap 5 p. 222)  Class relations, economic determinism and the influences of (literary) relations of production in or of the texts  Art and ideology: contradictions within some ideologies or between ideologies and reality in a text or a group of texts.  Pierre Macherey: the Textual Unsaidthe Textual Unsaid  Eagleton ’ s Materialist CriticismMaterialist Criticism  Jameson: Three horisons of interpretationThree horisons of interpretation  Their views on HistoryHistory

5 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 its unconscious – or the hidden (and unintended) meaning caused by literary form; contradictions ideology; the material conditions of production in the society in which the text is produced and consumed.

6 Pierre Macherey – the textual unsaid/unconscious  Is constructed in the moment of its entry into literary form.  literary genre as a constraint  the critics: do not look for “ unity, ” but for “ the multiplicity and diversity of its possible meanings, its incompleteness, the omissions which it displays but cannot describe, and above all its contradictions. ” (Belsey 109)

7 the textual unsaid — example 1  Sherlock Holmes – 福爾摩斯 Its pattern: enigma followed by disclosure (with total explicitness and scientific spirit); The stories are “ haunted by shadowy, mysterious and silent women. ”

8 the textual unsaid — example 2  1999 : Notting hill -- cultural stereotypes (source: ) Hugh Grant's repressed British mannerisms are contrasted to Julia Roberts' more laid-back American behaviour; Grant as an underdog — a mere second-hand bookstoore owner hoping to have a relationship with a movie star.

9 the textual unsaid — Notting hill  Notting Hill, has a large population of Caribbean immigrants. 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 the same time "what it cannot say."   the film subscribes to the ideology of “ Englishness. ”

10 Pierre Macherey (for reference)  We should question the work as to what it does not and cannot say, in those silences for which it has been made. The concealed order of the work is thus less significant than 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 letter of the text where incoherence and incompleteness burst forth [ … ] This distance which separates the work from the ideology which it transforms is rediscovered in the very letter of the work: it is fissured, unmade even in its making. (Pierre Macherey, A Theory of Literary Production: 115)

11 Terry Eagleton ’ s Materialist Criticism General Ideology (GI) Authorial Ideology (AuI) Aesthetic Ideology (AI)  Literary Mode of Production (LMP)  General Mode of Production (GMP) The Text

12 Modes of production: General and Literary  General Mode of Production (GMP) and Literary Mode of Production (LMP) 1. Every LMP is constituted by structure of production, distribution, exchange, and consumption “ 2. It's important to analyse the complex articulations of these various LMPs with the 'general' mode of production of a social formation. For instance, how oral LMP can keep its traces in a written text. 3. E.g. circulating library in the Victorian age, oral traces in novel and dramatic monologue; traditional novel vs. hypterfiction; web ” page. ”

13 General Ideology (GI), Authorial Ideology (AuI) and Aesthetic Ideology (AI)  GI is not an "ideal type of ideology in general," but the dominant ensemble of ideologies in social formation (54). (e.g. Modernist Ideology: alienation, individualism, liberal humanism, elitism, etc. )  AuI is the effect of the author's mode of biographical insertion into GI. (elitism  Eliot ’ s emphasis on individual talents and tradition; his critique of capitalist society)  Aesthetic ideology (e.g. of dramatic monologue, stream of consciousness)

14 T. S. Eliot ’ s “ The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ”  What is the poem about? How do you characterize Prufrock? What stages does he go through in this poem?  How does dramatic monologue help present the ideas of this poem? What ideologies does the poem criticize, support and/or embody?

15 T. S. Eliot ’ s “ The Love Song 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)

16 “ The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock ” --dramatic monologue A genre in which self-centeredness is both foregrounded and critiqued.

17 Prufrock: Self vs. Society  Self-aware speaks to himself; worries about his reputation (like the man from the inferno) of his appearance; (prepare a face)  Indecisive: “ there will be time. ”  Good-intentioned (with love) 1. 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).

18 Prufrock: Self-Pity vs. Self-Love  Self-centered; projects his spiritual malaise on his physical environment  John the baptist; Lazerus  Self-rejection 1. The city: --working class invisible; -- etherize evening; 2. The Universe turned into a ball; 3. The other – mermaid; something mythically remote and romantic.  anticipate Eliot ’ s interest in classical culture.

19 T. S. Eliot ’ s 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.

20 Eagleton on Eliot  Goes to Europe with a mission of re-defining the organic unity of its cultural traditions, and reinserting provincial England into that totality.  The organic unity of late Romanticism + classicism; “ the surrender of ‘ personality ’ to order, reason, authority and tradition. ”  A latent contradiction between Eliot ’ s concern for art as organic order and his insistence on the sensuously mimetic properties of poetic language. (e.g. “ Traditional and Individual Talent ” vs. “ Love Song)  The metaphysical poets as a solution.  “ The Waste Land ” – Cultures collapse, but Culture survies, and its form is The Waste Land.

21 Eliot ’ s 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, )

22 Jameson ’ s 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.)

23 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-- perhaps fortunate, perhaps not--from the paradise of his family ’ s love, brought about by eating of the fruit of the tree of knowledge. (British Writers)  His concerns: bridge the gap between his working-class origins and his upper-class education.  His style: usages of rimes and puns.

24 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"?

25 “ Marked with D ” – Rimes, Puns and Parody  The poem ’ s 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 baker ’ s productivity.

26 “ Marked with D ” – Rimes, Puns and Parody  The poem ’ s 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 baker ’ s productivity.

27 “ 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 kept 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 speaker ’ s position: sympathy; Empowerment – smoke – no one see rise, “ sting[s] ” one ’ s eyes

28 The Student paper  Thesis paragraph: the first one. The poem records and evaluates the baker ’ s life; Revolution is the solution to social inequality.

29 The Student paper: Development of ideas 1. Capitalist implications of the nursery rime; 2. The baker ’ s life and desire. –The baker ’ s work as a parallel to his cremation; –The title and the metaphor of flesh as dough; –Fire  the baker ’ s desire for heaven; –Heaven as part of a capitalist ideology of productivity; 3. The speaker ’ s views of the ideological control. –He gets it all from “ Earth ” ; – the worker ’ s hunger for “ release from mortal speech ” –  The worker will not rise –England; –Solution – revolution “ the small loaf ” not marked with “ D ” ?

30 The Student paper: improvement Are there enough clues for revolution in this poem? Should have clearer topic sentences with logical transitions.

31 “ Marked with D ” – 2 nd level  a level of socio-discourse analysis – The poem as represent Harrison ’ s troubled relations with his own working-class 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 patronising tone, of his father's political allegiances: No! Revolution never crossed your mind! For the kids who never made it through the schools the Northern working class escaped the grind as boxers or comedians, or won the pools. (http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m0FQP/4430_129/ /p1/article.jhtml )http://www.findarticles.com/cf_dls/m0FQP/4430_129/ /p1/article.jhtml

32 “ Marked with D ” – 2 nd level  a level of socio-discourse analysis –  His later works: criticized for being dogmatic or unconvincing.  The Trackers of Oxyrhynchus (1990) – the play ends with a supposedly climactic scene where the dispossessed rise up in rebellion against their masters. “ The scene is embarrassing rather than inspiring, though, for Harrison 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 skinhead in the cemetery where his parents were buried was hailed as a masterpiece by the liberal establishment and vilified by the right. “ The poem seems both dated and unrealistic now. ” (The aggressive skinhead  questioned as a symbol for the disaffected youth of today)

33 “ Marked with D ” – 3 nd level  As part of the struggle of working classes for equality.  How do we understand history, which is twice removed from us?

34 Macherey on History  the work is the writer ’ s 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 writer ’ s historical situation.

35 Macherey on History work = response to ideological question ideological response to history (the question behind the question).

36 Eagleton on history  Text Signifier Signification Signified IDEOLOGY Signifier Signified History The relation between text and ideology: like that between theatric performance and a play.

37 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 textualization, its narrativization in the political unconscious." (33)

38 References  British Writers. Supplement 5. George Stade and Sarah Hannah Goldstein, editors. Charles Scribner ’ s Sons,  Terry Eagleton Criticism and Ideology.  Catherine Belsey, Critical Practice (New York: Methuen, 1980)


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