[Marxism] FREDRIC JAMESON - REPRESENTING CAPITAL (new title from VERSO)

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Fri Jul 29 11:57:14 MDT 2011


REPRESENTING CAPITAL: A READING OF VOLUME ONE

BY FREDRIC JAMESON

PUBLISHED 14TH AUGUST 2011

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“Jameson's [is an] almost impossibly sophisticated variety of Marxist cultural criticism… the best of Jameson's work has felt mind-blowing in the way of LSD or mushrooms: here before you is the world you'd always known you were living in, but apprehended as if for the first time in the freshness of its beauty and horror” — LONDON REVIEW OF BOOKS

“One of the great writers of our time, not just one of the most formidably gifted critics and cultural theorists.” — Terry Eagleton

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The recent financial crisis, which traumatised the world’s economies, inspired a resurgence of interest in the grandfather of all left-wing critiques, Karl Marx’s DAS KAPITAL (CAPITAL). Many have been returning to or discovering Capital through thinkers such as David Harvey whose video lectures on Capital have been viewed over a million times online. The book itself became a bestseller in several countries in late 2008, after the crash.

The many new readings and interpretations of CAPITAL following the financial crisis had in common a focus on globalisation, and it is in terms of globalisation that CAPITAL reveals its increasingly urgent relevance to modern structures of labour. But as well as being a timeless work of economic analysis, Capital is also an audacious attempt to solve a philosophical and representational problem.

Now, in REPRESENTING CAPITAL, renowned theorist and cultural critic Fredric Jameson looks at Marx’s magnum opus as the attempt to capture and express the concept of global capital – an entity so complex that it is beyond the imaginative grasp of even the financiers who pretend to be its masters.

In the face of this overwhelming complexity, Marx’s ingenious response to this challenge is to create a text that is in constant conceptual motion. As Jameson puts it, “Marx remains as inexhaustible as capital itself…with every adaptation or mutation of the latter his texts and thought resonate in new ways”.

Thus, both capital and CAPITAL are not merely static things to be explained and understood, but fluid and infinitely adaptable processes. Jameson guides the reader through Capital, transforming its dilemmas and contradictions into new points of departure. In doing so he captures the secret of capitalism’s power: it’s endless ability to self-correct to sustain itself.

Capitalism is an infernal mechanism, characterised most dramatically by the waste and damage it leaves behind; and in our time that damage is realised most powerfully in endemic unemployment. In REPRESENTING CAPITAL, Jameson shows that CAPITAL is essentially a book about unemployment, and thus a book for our times.

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FREDRIC JAMESON, Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Duke University and Director of the Graduate Programme in Literature and the Centre for Critical Theory, was a recipient of the 2008 Holberg International Memorial Prize. His books include POSTMODERNISM, OR, THE CULTURAL LOGIC OF LATE CAPITALISM, A SINGULAR MODERNITY: ESSAYS ON THE ONTOLOGY OF THE PRESENT, THE IDEOLOGIES OF THEORY, ARCHAEOLOGIES OF THE FUTURE: SCIENCE FICTION AND OTHER UTOPIAS and THE HEGEL VARIATIONS all from Verso.

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ISBN: 978 1 84467 454 1 / $24.95 / £14.99 / $31.00 CAN / Hardback / 168 pages

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For more information about REPRESENTING CAPITAL or to buy the book visit:
http://www.versobooks.com/books/551-representing-capital

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