The Modernist Papers
Verso, $59.95 hb, 426 pp, 9781844670963
Though by profession a scholar of literature with a specialism in French literature, Fredric Jameson (born 1934) has made his mark as a cultural historian and even as what used to be called an historian of ideas. His chef d'oeuvre, Postmodernism, or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism (1991), provides one of the more persuasive cognitive maps we have of the evolution of culture in the West in the period from the mid-twentieth century to the present day. His achievement is all the more notable in that he is by conviction a Marxist, hostile to Anglo-American empiricism, the anti-theoretical theory that reigns supreme today.