By Fredric Jameson
A big new interpretation of the ideas of modernism and modernity.The options of modernity and modernism are among the main arguable and vigorously debated in modern philosophy and cultural thought. during this new intervention, Fredric Jameson—perhaps the main influential and persuasive theorist of postmodernity—excavates and explores those notions in a clean and illuminating demeanour. the extreme revival of discussions of modernity, in addition to of recent theories of inventive modernism, calls for recognition in its personal correct. it kind of feels transparent that the (provisional) disappearance of possible choices to capitalism performs its half within the common try and revive 'modernity' as a social excellent. but the paradoxes of the concept that illustrate its valid historical past and recommend a few principles for fending off its misuse in addition. during this significant new interpretation of the challenging, Jameson concludes that either suggestions are tainted, yet still yield clues as to the character of the phenomena they imagined to theorize. His really apt and vigilant probing of either terms—which can most likely no longer be banished at this past due date—helps us make clear our current political and inventive occasions.
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Extra info for A Singular Modernity: Essay on the Ontology of the Present
In his essay, “De la beauté terrifiante et comestible de l’architecture modern style,” published in the surrealist magazine Minotaure in 1933,36 Dali vehemently advocates art noveau, or “Modern Style” architecture. He writes: “I insist here on the essentially extra-plastique character of the Modern Style. For me every use of this style towards ‘plastic’ or pictorial ends imply the most flagrant betrayal of the movement’s irrational and essentially ‘literary’ aspirations. ”37 Dali’s aesthetic of “regression,” from the dominant right angle to the “modern style,” coincides with the appearance in his writings, after 1933, of certain preoccupations—excrement, culinary activity, and regression to an oral, infantile, pregenital sexuality.
Le Corbusier transforms this pleasure principle into the hygienic superego. In her seminal essay “The Sartorial Superego,” Joan Copjec argues that for modernists there was no principle beyond pleasure: “Well, then, does man’s construction of architecture, like everything else, have its origins in pleasure and pain; or does it originate. . in the principle of use? Durand answers economically that it originates in both, and he thereby erects modern architecture on the same equation that Jeremy Bentham used to formulate his utilitarianism.
Slavoj Zizˇek, Looking Awry: An Introduction to Jacques Lacan through Popular Culture (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1992), 161. 7. “[The interpenetration of inner and outer space] became possible to achieve. . in a dwelling. This possibility was latent in the skeleton system of construction, but the skeleton had to be used as Le Corbusier used it: in the service of a new conception of space. ” Siegfried Giedion, Space, Time and Architecture: The Growth of a New Tradition, 5th ed. (Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1967), 529.
A Singular Modernity: Essay on the Ontology of the Present by Fredric Jameson