Fables of Aggression: Wyndham Lewis, the Modernist as Fascist

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University of California Press, 1981 - Literary Criticism - 190 pages
''The novels of Wyndham Lewis have generally been associated with the work of the great modernists - Joyce, Pound, Eliot, Yeats - who were his sometime friends and collaborators. Lewis's originality, however, can only be fully grasped when it is understood that, unlike those writers, he was essentially a political novelist.In this now classic study, Fredric Jameson proposes a framework in which Lewis's explosive language practice--utterly unlike any other English or American modernism--can be grasped as a political and symbolic act. He does not, however, ask us to admire the energy of Lewis's style without confronting the inescapable and often scandalous ideological content of Lewis's works: the aggressivity and sexism, the predilection for racial and national categories, the brief flirtation with fascism, and the inveterate and cranky oppositionalism that informs his powerful polemics against virtually all the political and countercultural tendencies of his time.Fables of Aggression draws on the methods of narrative analysis and semiotics, psychoanalysis, and ideological analysis to construct a dynamic model of the contradictions from which Lewis's incomparable narrative corpus is generated, and of which it offers so many varying symbolic resolutions.''--
 

Contents

Prologue On Not Reading Wyndham Lewis
1
Hairy surgical and yet invisible
25
Agons of the Pseudocouple
35
3 The Epic as Cliché the Cliché as Epic
62
4 The Picturehouse of the Senses
81
5 From National Allegory to Libidinal Apparatus
87
6 The dissolving body of Gods chimaera
105
The Jaundiced Eye
122
8 The Sex of Angels
136
How to Die Twice
160
Appendix Hitler as Victim
179
Index
187
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About the author (1981)

Fredric R. Jameson, Marxist theorist and professor of comparative literature at Duke University, was born in Cleveland in 1934. He earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University and taught at Harvard, the University of California at San Diego, and Yale University before moving to Duke in 1985. He most famous work is Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, which won the Modern Language Association's Lowell Award. Jameson was among the first to associate a specific set of political and economic circumstances with the term postmodernism. His other books include Sartre: The Origin of a Style, The Seeds of Time, and The Cultural Turn.

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