Esther’s Space- journey through my life

February 7, 2007

Week 4- Jameson & Postmodernism

Filed under: THEORY 330 — estherspace @ 12:24 am

Okay……to begin, I needed to create an arsenal to help me understand the examples he laid out in the first paragraph (all of which are before my era of cultural consciousness)…..

Andy Warhol andy-warhol.jpg warhol-andy-campbells-dose.jpg andy-warhol-2.jpg

Talking Heads….or the technologically correct way:

Gang of Four:

Robert Venturi: robert-venturi-image.jpg robert-venturi.jpg

‘nuf said. Okay, now that I feel like I understand that postmodernism=strange tastes that don’t really fit in with mine, I am ready to tackle Jameson in a way that inflates my ego and proves little to nothing.

Upon the conclusion of the reading, I am honestly a bit disappointed. Much of what Jameson seems to be saying is less than groundbreaking. Throughout the article, he seems to be primarily arguing for the existence of a postmodernist era. This argument, however, may be necessary, for the Wikipedia entry states that postmodernism has been both difficult to define and challenging in dating. For Jameson, postmodernism seems to embody the shift from unique, unmistakable individualism (1964) to a society in which nothing is private or personal, and “the writers and artists of the present day will no longer be able to invent new styles and worlds– they’ve already been invented” (1965).

One of Jameson’s ideas that I thought was particularly interesting was the Nostalgia Mode. Jameson argues that in postmodern film, and in some ways life, we are attempting to recreate for our senses what life was like in bygone eras through metonymysis, (metonymically is my new favorite word), or through association not through resemblance. While he argues well, I would counter it with the argument that such nostalgia is not reserved for postmodernism. Throughout history, conservatives have struggled to maintain traditions or traditional ideals that belong to the past.

In all, I don’t feel fully enlightened by Jameson’s article. Much of what he is saying seems obvious to me, but perhaps this is because his article was written nearly 20 years ago, and what once was radical is now common (interesting that such a transition was used to mark the movement from high modernism to postmodernism and therefore his ideas would be arguable in the past and no longer currently valid).


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