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The Prison-House of Language: A Critical Account of Structuralism and Russian Formalism (Princeton Essays in Literature Book 2)

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Fredric Jameson's survey of Structuralism and Russian Formalism is, at the same time, a critique of their basic methodology. He lays bare the presuppositions of the two movements, clarifying the relationship between the synchronic methods of Saussurean linguistics and the realities of time and history. Fredric Jameson's survey of Structuralism and Russian Formalism is, at the same time, a critique of their basic methodology. He lays bare the presuppositions of the two movements, clarifying the relationship between the synchronic methods of Saussurean linguistics and the realities of time and history.


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Fredric Jameson's survey of Structuralism and Russian Formalism is, at the same time, a critique of their basic methodology. He lays bare the presuppositions of the two movements, clarifying the relationship between the synchronic methods of Saussurean linguistics and the realities of time and history. Fredric Jameson's survey of Structuralism and Russian Formalism is, at the same time, a critique of their basic methodology. He lays bare the presuppositions of the two movements, clarifying the relationship between the synchronic methods of Saussurean linguistics and the realities of time and history.

30 review for The Prison-House of Language: A Critical Account of Structuralism and Russian Formalism (Princeton Essays in Literature Book 2)

  1. 5 out of 5

    Alex

    early 1970s accounting of the thinking of de Saussure (I), russian formalism (II), and french structuralism (III). Seeming to be an expansion on 1973 article, "Metacommentary," a sequel to "Marxism and Form." The thinking through social life and the literature it produces by metaphor of 'language' and 'structure' is both breathtakingly brilliant and stupid (for being endlessly self-referential). So why even bother? (a) such theorists can shed light on the particular historical moments they were w early 1970s accounting of the thinking of de Saussure (I), russian formalism (II), and french structuralism (III). Seeming to be an expansion on 1973 article, "Metacommentary," a sequel to "Marxism and Form." The thinking through social life and the literature it produces by metaphor of 'language' and 'structure' is both breathtakingly brilliant and stupid (for being endlessly self-referential). So why even bother? (a) such theorists can shed light on the particular historical moments they were writing in; (b) you can't complete a diachronic, "historicized" account of anything without first drawing up the maps, the possibilities, the relevant binary oppositions that can represent a synchronic "slice of time." Also, it's very useful to learn the self-destruct codes for: de Saussure Shklovksy Propp Levi-Strauss Barthes Foucault Derrida (greimas and jakobson seem to get off relatively easy. bakhtin and vygotsky weren't discovered yet) Structuralism seems to embody along with it the seeds of its own destruction. Jameson hopes to follow through "the model" (think Kuhn's paradigms) to pass on to the other side, having eaten it it may be preserved through its cancellation.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Adam

    This early work sets the tone for all of Jameson's critical enterprise: his omnivorous intelligence devours diverse strains of thought, while his exquisitely supple Marxist partisanship is nourished by their insights and sharpened through the critique of their deficits. This early work sets the tone for all of Jameson's critical enterprise: his omnivorous intelligence devours diverse strains of thought, while his exquisitely supple Marxist partisanship is nourished by their insights and sharpened through the critique of their deficits.

  3. 5 out of 5

    William West

    A brilliant, dense argument that "Post-structuralism" and "decontstruction" do not actually meaningfully depart from "structuralism" and the prison that the author feels the later amounts to. A brilliant, dense argument that "Post-structuralism" and "decontstruction" do not actually meaningfully depart from "structuralism" and the prison that the author feels the later amounts to.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Sig

    Pretty interesting history and criticism of the structuralist model, as a linguist I found quite a lot to enjoy and to apply even within the scope of modern-day Chomskyan linguistics. Whilst Jameson can get a bit hard to read sometimes, his prose is never exhausting and always insightful. The analysis is by no means exhaustive, but nonetheless interesting. I would say that it's a good read for the unitiated provided that they take their time reading it. Since I was somewhat familiar with the ide Pretty interesting history and criticism of the structuralist model, as a linguist I found quite a lot to enjoy and to apply even within the scope of modern-day Chomskyan linguistics. Whilst Jameson can get a bit hard to read sometimes, his prose is never exhausting and always insightful. The analysis is by no means exhaustive, but nonetheless interesting. I would say that it's a good read for the unitiated provided that they take their time reading it. Since I was somewhat familiar with the ideas of structuralism from linguistics, Lacan (by way of Zizek) and Althusser, I didn't find it daunting, but it is something that is worth to digest.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Mills College Library

    415 J31p 1974

  6. 4 out of 5

    Joseph Fontinha

    Not for the faint of heart, and bring supplements, but for Jameson fans, a power house. A Proustian like verse on all things both postmodern and linguistic. I would give it a five were it a little more friendly.

  7. 5 out of 5

    mimosa maoist

    The first chapter's hard going, but afterward he's on the warpath. The first chapter's hard going, but afterward he's on the warpath.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emil E

    Dense, but always clear and enlightening.

  9. 5 out of 5

    sologdin

    marxist reading of structuralism and formalism. the carceral metaphor of the title is not really warranted.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Andrew Gripp

  11. 5 out of 5

    Andy

  12. 5 out of 5

    Marko

  13. 5 out of 5

    cloverjcorp

  14. 5 out of 5

    Perrystroika

  15. 5 out of 5

    William Jamison

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jesús

  17. 5 out of 5

    Maximiliano Crespi

  18. 4 out of 5

    Mike Murashige

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cata Joseph

  20. 4 out of 5

    etzel

  21. 5 out of 5

    Andrew

  22. 4 out of 5

    Rtm Taylor-Manning

  23. 4 out of 5

    Mary White

  24. 4 out of 5

    Bill Clunie

  25. 4 out of 5

    Mindy

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jared Bennett

  27. 5 out of 5

    David Anthony Sam

  28. 4 out of 5

    Dave

  29. 4 out of 5

    Kieran B.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Jim

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