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Late Marxism: Adorno, Or, The Persistence of the Dialectic (Radical Thinkers) Paperback – January 17, 2007

ISBN-13: 978-1844675753 ISBN-10: 1844675750 Edition: 2007 edition
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Editorial Reviews


“The most philosophically sophisticated and searching study of Theodor Adorno to appear in English ... powerful and persuasive.”—The Nation

“[Jameson is a] prodigiously energetic thinker, whose writings sweep majestically from Sophocles to science fiction.”—Terry Eagleton

About the Author

Fredric Jameson is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Duke University. The author of numerous books, he has over the last three decades developed a richly nuanced vision of Western culture’s relation to political economy. He was a recipient of the 2008 Holberg International Memorial Prize. He is the author of many books, including Postmodernism, Or, The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, The Cultural Turn, A Singular Modernity, The Modernist Papers, Archaeologies of the Future, Brecht and Method, Ideologies of Theory, Valences of the Dialectic, The Hegel Variations and Representing Capital.

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Product Details

  • Series: Radical Thinkers (Book 18)
  • Paperback: 270 pages
  • Publisher: Verso; 2007 edition edition (January 17, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844675750
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844675753
  • Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.9 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #701,090 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Duane M. Johnson on April 28, 2010
Format: Paperback
Fredric Jameson has written a most illuminating study of Theodor Adorno's philosophical output. If you have been struggling with understanding this man's ideas, if you have spent countless hours going over his texts and pouring over the often incomplete secondary literature about him and the Frankfurt School, if you ever wished that there was a single work which might give you a coherent picture not so much of Adorno's ideas as of the fundamental ways in which he approached philosophizing, then Jameson's "Late Marxism: Adorno, or the Persistence of the Dialectic" will help you put an end to your searching.

This book will not tell you everything you need to know about Adorno, but it will lead you along the paths of his thinking as Jameson points out and explicates the more telling aspects of his dialectical approach to truth. He makes it possible INTER ALIA for the reader to follow the shifting ways in which identity and non-identity must be seen in relation to the universal and the particular; what it means for there to be a 'constellated' relationship between ideas and concepts; and his clarifying description of how Adorno's conception of the 'model' is paralleled by Schoenberg's twelve-tone compositional method and how that reflects the methodological tentativeness of his negative-dialectical approach (all related to what Jameson describes on p. 75 as the "emergence of new conceptions...of mortality and materialism...(the) philosophical complements to a Marxian view of history itself").

What makes this book so handy is that it is actually a commentary on Adorno's last two major works, the first part dealing with "Negative Dialectics" and the third part with "Aesthetic Theory", with Jameson including relevant material from "Dialectic of Enlightenment" in the second part.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By P. A. Oliver on June 8, 2011
Format: Paperback
... it needs to be said that Jameson is not the clearest writer. He uses a great many theoretical terms and drops a great many names without explanation. This is not in itself a bad thing, especially since Jameson isn't bluffing: he knows his way around all the material he uses to "explain" Adorno. But many don't and they will get little or no help from Jameson. All this means is that this is NOT a good "introduction" to Adorno (for that, I recommend looking to Susan Buck-Morss's delightful "Origin of Negative Dialectics," which, while sacrificing no rigor or depth, actually makes a worthy effort to think Adorno alongside the thinkers he moved with and against; either that or the Routledge Critical Thinkers series volume on Adorno, by Ross Wilson, which is also excellent and very clearly written; or even Martin Jay's original trailblazer "The Dialectical Imagination", which is dense but systematic and cogent): Jameson's is best for intermediary students (among whom I count myself) who have already read some Adorno, at least some of the other major critical theorists (Horkheimer, Marcuse, Fromm, etc.), and are at least semi familiar with the names and ideas grouped under the (admittedly dubious) heading of Western Marxism. Don't let me discourage you if you're interested in this book, but just know that it is a heady brew of conceptual networks.

I can't resist pointing out that in a sad twist of fate in this book Jameson praises to the skies (as well he should) Robert Hullot-Kentor's fabulous translations of Adorno, only to have the man himself, in his own book of essays on Adorno ("Things Beyond Resemblance"), single out Jameson for ridicule. "Late Marxism" is the target of an entire essay of snarky (and actually rather hilarious) vitriol from Hullot-Kentor. I felt sorry for Jameson the day I read that essay: it's the equivalent of being smacked in the face by your biggest hero.
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