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Book Review: The Ancients and the Postmoderns by Fredric Jameson

By Sameer Rahim  

unnamed (2)The Ancients and the Postmoderns by Fredric Jameson (Verso, £20)

The greatest works of art, whether modern or postmodern, have one unifying ambition: to invent new forms that grasp a specific social or political totality. So argues one of our most powerful and provoking critics Fredric Jameson in this wide-ranging essay collection, which starts with Peter Paul Rubens and ends with The Wire. Jameson likes tackling large, mythical works, teasing out their formal characteristics—whether it’s describing the “electrifying slumber” of Rubens’s Samson lying on Delilah’s lap, or noting that when Wotan in…

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