sábado, 27 de setembro de 2008

The Abyss of Representation

The Abyss of Representation: Marxism and the Postmodern Sublime
by George Hartley

Paperback: 338 pages
Publisher: Duke University Press; New title edition (2003)
ISBN-10: 0822331144
ISBN-13: 978-0822331148

"The Abyss of Representation is an ambitious and highly illuminating book. It is the best study I have read on this particular appropriation of Lacanian theory by Zizek and its differences with other readings of Lacan's work, and the discussions on Althusser and Jameson are particularly original and convincing." Ernesto Laclau, coauthor of Hegemony and Socialist Strategy: Towards a Radical Democratic Politics "The Abyss of Representation is outstanding for its contribution to a theory of literature and aesthetic philosophy. It is also a strong elaboration of the failure inherent in representation and that failure's relevance to a cultural and political theory." Michael Bernard-Donals, coauthor of Between Witness and Testimony: The Holocaust and the Limits of Representation

Product Description
The problem of representation - that the representation of a concept can never be that concept - is a version of the enduring philosophical problem of the difference between appearance and its underlying reality. Examining how the limitations of representation have been discussed from Kant up through Marxist theorists of post modernism, "The Abyss of Representation" illuminates the epistemological, political, aesthetic, ideological, and cultural issues hinging on the inevitable failures of representation.Drawing on the work of Althusser, Zizek, and Lacan, George Hartley argues that while ideology is a representation of the relationship of individual subjects to their real conditions of existence, this relationship is an imaginary one. He demonstrates why hysteria (hysterical conversion) is the necessary condition for acceptance of that ideology which constitutes us as selves and subjects within society.This hysterical conversion also generates the Lacanian symptom of social symbolic order, which, Hartley posits, in contemporary Western society is the subaltern subject described by Gayatri Spivak. This subaltern is the postmodern sublime object continuously effaced from view-a central part of the social order paradoxically relegated to the extreme periphery. Hartley contends that in the United States the subaltern is exemplified by the Chicano, an American who can never be American enough. By looking at the history of the term 'representation' in philosophical discourse, Hartley provides a deep understanding of the problems that hinge on representations' failures."

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