Late Marxism: Adorno; or The Persistence of the Dialectic

In the name of an assault on “totalization” and “identity,” a number of contemporary theorists have been busily washing Marxism's dialectical and utopian projects down the plug-hole of postmodernism and “post-politics.” A case in point is recent interpretation of one of the greatest twentieth-century philosophers, Theodor Adorno. In this powerful book, Fredric Jameson proposes a radically different reading of Adorno's work, especially of his major works on philosophy and aesthetics: Negative Dialectics and Aesthetic Theory.

Jameson argues persuasively that Adorno's contribution to the development of Marxism remains unique and indispensable. He shows how Adorno's work on aesthetics performs deconstructive operations yet is in sharp distinction to the now canonical deconstructive genre of writing. He explores the complexity of Adorno's very timely affirmation of philosophy — of its possibility after the “end” of grand theory. Above all, he illuminates the subtlety and richness of Adorno's continuing emphasis on late capitalism as a totality within the very forms of our culture. In its lucidity, Late Marxism echoes the writing of its subject, to whose critical, utopian intelligence Jameson remains faithful.

“Jameson has a gift for bringing to bear an unusual parallel and for collocating scattered passages that illuminate one another. … His major argument, that Adorno was always a Marxist, … is not only corrective but dialectical; not only a quarrel with other interpreters who take him as a post-Marxist or ‘Young Hegelian’ or even a postmodernist and poststructuralist but a claim about what is most living and pertinent in his work.” — Michael Ferber, The Nation

Nøkkelord: Filosofi Idéhistorie Marxisme Kritisk teori