By Fredric Jameson
During this significant new examine, thinker and cultural theorist Fredric Jameson deals an leading edge studying of a booklet that kinds a part of the bedrock of contemporary Western suggestion: Hegel's Phenomenology of Spirit.
Whereas different writers have interpreted the Phenomenology as a rigidly closed process, Jameson discovers it to be a extra fluid, open-ended paintings. Hegel's brain is published to be a much less systematic mechanism than as a rule inspiration, one whose rules by no means solidify into natural abstractions. the realization of the Phenomenology, at the aftermath of the French Revolution, is tested as a provisional stalemate among the political and the social--a state of affairs from which Jameson attracts vital classes for our personal age.
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Extra resources for The Hegel Variations: On the Phenomenology of Spirit
The more notable works that are produced, the greater the signiﬁcance of the best works from the past. The present therefore deserves at least partial credit for our understanding of the past. Ironically, if modern culture were so poor, it would not be able to produce so many cultural pessimists with such a ﬁne appreciation of past masterworks. Successive creations increase the potency of some works but devalue others. We now ﬁnd Richardson’s Pamela to be implausible and chauvinist; the heroine submits to a forced marriage to an unsavory character and eventually grows to enjoy it.
38 One alternative (minority) vision suggests that government funding can create a useful target for radical artists. American painter John Sloan said “Sure, it would be ﬁne to have a Ministry of the Fine Arts in this country. ”39 High and Low Culture Sometimes we distinguish between “high” culture, the items achieving greatest critical acclaim, and “low” culture, the most popular cultural items. Economic incentives support this split between high and low culture. Capitalism supports product diversity and gives many artists the means to work outside of the popular mainstream.
Unlike many painters, authors cannot support themselves by selling a few hundred works to a relatively small number of wealthy buyers. Writers who target small, elite, or specialized audiences must ﬁnd alternate sources of sustenance, such as part-time jobs, grant support, or university positions. Since mass sales are needed for signiﬁcant proﬁts, authors face a trade-off. They may pursue lucrative writing for larger audiences, or less lucrative writing for more specialized tastes, including their own.
The Hegel Variations: On the Phenomenology of Spirit by Fredric Jameson