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Raymond Chandler: The Detections of Totality…
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Raymond Chandler: The Detections of Totality (utgåvan 2016)

av Fredric Jameson (Författare)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
393506,233 (4.1)1
"The master of literary theory takes on the master of the detective novel Raymond Chandler, a dazzling stylist and portrayer of American life, holds a unique place in literary history, straddling both pulp fiction and modernism. With The Big Sleep, published in 1939, he left an indelible imprint on the detective novel. Fredric Jameson offers an interpretation of Chandler's work based on reconstructing both the context in which it was written and the social world or totality it projects. Chandler's invariable setting, Los Angeles, appears both as a microcosm of the United States and a prefiguration of its future: a gigantic city built on deliberately ignoring nature, broken into a multitude of private worlds. But this essentially urban and spatial work seems also to be drawn towards a vacuum, an absence that is nothing other than death. With Chandler, the thriller genre becomes metaphysical"--"Raymond Chandler, a dazzling stylist and portrayer of American life, holds a unique place in literary history, straddling both pulp fiction and modernism. With The Big Sleep, published in 1939, he left an indelible imprint on the detective novel. Fredric Jameson offers an interpretation of Chandler's work based on reconstructing both the context in which it was written and the social world or totality it projects. Chandler's invariable setting, Los Angeles, appears both as a microcosm of the United States and a prefiguration of its future: a gigantic city built on deliberately ignoring nature, broken into a multitude of private worlds. But this essentially urban and spatial work seems also to be drawn towards a vacuum, an absence that is nothing other than death. With Chandler, the thriller genre becomes metaphysical"--… (mer)
Medlem:MARizzo72
Titel:Raymond Chandler: The Detections of Totality
Författare:Fredric Jameson (Författare)
Info:Verso Books (2016), 96 pages
Samlingar:Ditt bibliotek
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Raymond Chandler: The Detections of Totality av Fredric Jameson

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In Raymond Chandler: The Detections of Totality Fredric Jameson returns to his work on the detective novel, focusing this time on Chandler. As usual Jameson makes nuanced observations and posits very reasonable and well-argued points for their presence. Some basic readers may claim Jameson is claiming things Chandler never consciously intended which, while in some cases may be true, is moot in that reading is a dynamic partnership and both the writing and the reading are contextualized within different realities (era, location, social and cultural norms, etc) so Chandler consciously choosing something makes no difference to what it may represent about Chandler's time or about a reader's time.

For Chandler fans there is much to appreciate. Jameson grounds his observations with textual support. One may agree, wholly or in part, with his interpretations or disagree but one cannot say it isn't textually based. Whether discussing spatiality, particularity (Ford rather than car) or Chandler's social typography Jameson highlights aspects of the texts that may have, for most readers, been nothing more than setting the scene. yet setting a scene, like taking a photograph, is as much about choosing what is seen and what is not seen. Those choices were indeed Chandler's.

For literary theorists, whether Marxist or not, Jameson gives many new perspectives with which to look at the novels. Non-theorists will just dismiss with a wave of the hand and claim Chandler didn't mean it, which, as I stated, means nothing. Theorists and serious readers will find some agreement with Jameson or perhaps find other ways of explaining the themes and trends Chandler had running throughout his novels.

This is not a casual read but neither is it a particularly dense nor convoluted read. It will be accessible to most readers, particularly those who choose to engage rather than dismiss before even engaging. I would recommend this to both Chandler fans, with the caveat that this is not a basic overview of plots, and those interested in how literature (particularly popular literature) works and what it can say about the society that both produced and consumed it.

Reviewed from a copy made available by the publisher via NetGalley. ( )
  pomo58 | May 27, 2017 |
An interesting critique of Raymond Chandler and his novels.
I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher Verso Books via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review. ( )
  Welsh_eileen2 | Sep 1, 2016 |
Raymond Chandler influenced writers of all stripes, from Hemingway to SJ Perelman. It was his use of language and descriptions in stylistic ways that caught – and catch – the imagination. He said he went into novels when the magazine editor of his first story excised a (terrific) description. The editor said people wanted action, not descriptions. Chandler set out to prove otherwise.

There are six Chandler novels, and they are memorable for two things: Phillip Marlowe, and the moody, stylistic descriptions of Los Angeles, its homes, and in particular its offices. We remember the settings rather than the plot details. The scenes can easily be confused in our minds from novel to novel, particularly if you’ve read them all a long time ago. The actual murders and details of how they came to pass are secondary – by Chandler’s own admission.

Jameson applies his usual otherworldly analysis to Chandler, ascribing intent where most see coincidence. There are the usual references to the usual suspects: Heidegger, Freud, Barthes, Althusser and also Roman Jakobson. There is only one mention of Slavoj Zizek, and that in a footnote, which I found unusual since Zizek is all over pop culture, and it’s not as if they don’t collaborate.

There is mention of Robert Altman’s The Long Goodbye, the film where style and description outchandler Chandler. It could easily have been the sounding board for Jameson to make or prove numerous points. But strangely, he does not see it that way, so it simply stands on its own.

As usual, Jameson’s plane is different, and a challenge to internalize. But then, that’s why we read him.

David Wineberg ( )
  DavidWineberg | Apr 30, 2016 |
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"The master of literary theory takes on the master of the detective novel Raymond Chandler, a dazzling stylist and portrayer of American life, holds a unique place in literary history, straddling both pulp fiction and modernism. With The Big Sleep, published in 1939, he left an indelible imprint on the detective novel. Fredric Jameson offers an interpretation of Chandler's work based on reconstructing both the context in which it was written and the social world or totality it projects. Chandler's invariable setting, Los Angeles, appears both as a microcosm of the United States and a prefiguration of its future: a gigantic city built on deliberately ignoring nature, broken into a multitude of private worlds. But this essentially urban and spatial work seems also to be drawn towards a vacuum, an absence that is nothing other than death. With Chandler, the thriller genre becomes metaphysical"--"Raymond Chandler, a dazzling stylist and portrayer of American life, holds a unique place in literary history, straddling both pulp fiction and modernism. With The Big Sleep, published in 1939, he left an indelible imprint on the detective novel. Fredric Jameson offers an interpretation of Chandler's work based on reconstructing both the context in which it was written and the social world or totality it projects. Chandler's invariable setting, Los Angeles, appears both as a microcosm of the United States and a prefiguration of its future: a gigantic city built on deliberately ignoring nature, broken into a multitude of private worlds. But this essentially urban and spatial work seems also to be drawn towards a vacuum, an absence that is nothing other than death. With Chandler, the thriller genre becomes metaphysical"--

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