Marxism and art

Bryan A. Alexander bnalexan at
Sat Jul 8 09:44:09 MDT 1995

No: these modes (documentary etc) are merely the apparently most simple,
in terms of embodying history.  Following critics like Jameson, Macherey,
Adorno, we find what is most interesting (from a critic's point of view)
is how complex/strange/surprising/difficult is the mediation between our
received perception of the object and its historicality.  This mediatory
line gets referred to as a seam (Macherey), the revelation of the
political unconscious (Jameson).
	Besides, every object that portrays itself as simply representing
history (such as documentaries or "historical fictions") betrays history
once more on another level, along the above lines of seam of unconscious.

Bryan Alexander
Department of English
University of Michigan

On Fri, 7 Jul 1995 glevy at wrote:

> James Garrett wrote:
> > We consider a work great not because of its "atemporality," but because it
> > represents the struggles of the events it depicts.
> Jerry:
> >From this perspective, wouldn't the greatest works of literature be
> non-fiction and the greatest films documentaries?  Surely, there must be
> other factors besides the representation of struggles that determine
> whether a work or art is "great." In addition to content, isn't the form
> and technique used by artists important in differentiating mediocre art
> from "great" art?
> Let's talk some more about art and Marxism.  Perhaps some of the
> "lurkers" are interested in this subject.
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