Elaine Jude Leyda
ejl1386 at tam2000.tamu.edu
Fri Jun 30 03:22:11 MDT 1995
Yes, Seamus, Williams is often preferred over Eagleton, his
teacher and one whom he had to 'overcome'. But Williams collapses the
base & superstructure, and everything becomes a form of communication.
Undialectical and, if I recall, a bit 'utopian' in its own way: his
notions of democratic communication are in a way now sorely dated, but at
the same time, sorely needed. Jameson is a hard nut, on some counts,
bringing so much of Heidegger, structuralism, and so on into things. A
handy book, which everyone may yawn at by now but which I recently found,
is called _Marxist Aesthetics_ b y Herni Arvon, trans. Helen Lane, NY:
Cornell, 1973, Intro Fredric Jameson.
Regarding your mention of drug-use in those sub-cultures...you
say drugs are used for both immediate and totally mediated experiences. ?
I am somewhat confused by this. As I recall, one of the appeals of drugs
during the 60s was the possibility of a totally UNmediated
experience--ie, I'm thinking here of Norman O Brown, RD Laing, etc. [Not
Marucse, who strongly disapproved of using drugs to 'escape': see his
'debate' with NO Brown for that.] One of the problems is that life in
late capitalism _is_ totally mediated (or 'totally administered', if you
One interesting thing to note, however, and something that few
seem to pay attention to is that Eagleton, Jameson, Frank Lentricchia
(for a time) all take a 'rhetorical turn' to do battle against
'bourgeois' aesthetics, garnering weapons from rhetoric for that purpose.
See, in the Eagleton vein, the conclusion of his _Literary Theory_.
Jameson & Lentricchia are especially, as is Hayden White, indebted to
Kenneth Burke, and say so.
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