The Abyss of Representation: Marxism and the Postmodern Sublime (Post-Contemporary Interventions)

The Abyss of Representation: Marxism and the Postmodern Sublime (Post-Contemporary Interventions)

By: George Hartley (author)Paperback

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From the Copernican revolution of Immanuel Kant to the cognitive mapping of Fredric Jameson to the postcolonial politics of Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, representation has been posed as both indispensable and impossible. In his pathbreaking work, The Abyss of Representation, George Hartley traces the development of this impossible necessity from its German Idealist roots through Marxist theories of postmodernism, arguing that in this period of skepticism and globalization we are still grappling with issues brought forth during the age of romanticism and revolution. Hartley shows how the modern problem of representation-the inability of a figure to do justice to its object-still haunts today's postmodern philosophy and politics. He reveals the ways the sublime abyss that opened up in Idealist epistemology and aesthetics resurfaces in recent theories of ideology and subjectivity.Hartley describes how modern theory from Kant through Lacan attempts to come to terms with the sublime limits of representation and how ideas developed with the Marxist tradition-such as Marx's theory of value, Althusser's theory of structural causality, or Zizek's theory of ideological enjoyment-can be seen as variants of the sublime object. Representation, he argues, is ultimately a political problem. Whether that problem be a Marxist representation of global capitalism, a deconstructive representation of subaltern women, or a Chicano self-representation opposing Anglo-American images of Mexican Americans, it is only through this grappling with the negative, Hartley explains, that a Marxist theory of postmodernism can begin to address the challenges of global capitalism and resurgent imperialism.

About Author

George Hartley is Associate Professor of English at Ohio University. He is author of Textual Politics and the Language Poets.


Acknowledgments ix Abbreviations for Works Cited xi 1. Representation and the Abyss of Subjectivity 1 2. Presentation beyond Representation: Kant and the Limits of Discursive Understanding 22 3. The Speculative Proposition: Hegel and the Drama of Presentation 53 4. Marx's Key Concept? Althusser and the Darstellung Question 84 5. Figuration and the Sublime Logic of the Real: Jameson's Libidinal Apparatuses 127 6. The Theater of Figural Space 182 7. Can the Symptom Speak? Hegemony and the Problem of Cultural Representation 235 Notes 295 Bibliography 319 Index 327

Product Details

  • ISBN13: 9780822331148
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 360
  • ID: 9780822331148
  • ISBN10: 0822331144

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