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"The Abyss of Representation is an ambitious and highly illuminating book."—Ernesto Laclau — N/A
”The Abyss of Representation is an outstanding contribution to a theory of literature and aesthetic philosophy. It is a strong elaboration of the failure inherent in representation and that failure’s relevance to a cultural and political theory.”—Michael Bernard-Donals, coauthor of Between Witness and Testimony: The Holocaust and the Limits of Representation — N/A
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Hartley describes how modern theory from Kant through Lacan attempts to come to terms with the sublime limits of representation and how ideas developed with the Marxist tradition—such as Marx’s theory of value, Althusser’s theory of structural causality, or Zizek’s theory of ideological enjoyment—can be seen as variants of the sublime object. Representation, he argues, is ultimately a political problem. Whether that problem be a Marxist representation of global capitalism, a deconstructive representation of subaltern women, or a Chicano self-representation opposing Anglo-American images of Mexican Americans, it is only through this grappling with the negative, Hartley explains, that a Marxist theory of postmodernism can begin to address the challenges of global capitalism and resurgent imperialism.
George Hartley is Associate Professor of English at Ohio University. He is author of Textual Politics and the Language Poets.
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