Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Jason Read on Jameson's Representing Capital

We've all, I know, been waiting for the publication of Fredric Jameson's Representing Capital. Though I have not yet acquired a copy, I should be getting it soon, while reading his Hegel Variations is still on my mind. In the meantime, Jason Read has posted (on my birthday no less, not that he knew that...but I digress) some thoughts on a few of the central themes: separation, unemployment, alienation, and extinguishing (auslöchen). This passage caught my eye, though the whole post is worth reading:
The interest in this extinguishing of history can perhaps be read as an explanation of Jameson’s most often cited remark, the one about how it is easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. History is effaced not just in the commodity but also in the eternal present of the precarious employment situation, where all those years worked do not add up, or they do, but in the form of an increasingly alien capital, in machinery and the wealth of the company. Separation and extinguished are ultimately terms that make it possible to make sense of both Capital and capitalism.

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