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AbramsMarxism | Ideologies | Antonio Gramsci

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180 MALAPROPISM But the genre also includes extended expressions of a complex evolution of fee- ' lingful thought, as in the long elegy and the meditative ode. And within a lyric, the process of observation, thought, memory, and feeling is organized in a variety of ways. For example, in love lyrics the speaker may simply express an enam- ored state of mind in an ordered form, as in Robert Bums' 0 my love's like a red, red rose
  180 MALAPROPISM But the genre also includes extended expressions of a complex evolution of fee'lingful thought , as in the long elegy and the meditative ode. And within a lyric,the process of observation, thought, memory, and feeling is organized in a variety of ways. For example,in love lyrics the speaker may simply express an enam ored state of mind in an ordered form, as in RobertBums' 0 my love's like ared, red rose, and Elizabeth Barrett Browning's How do I love the e? Let mecount the ways ; or may gallantly elaborate a compliment (Ben Jonson' s Drink to me only with thine eyes ); or may deploy an argument to take advantage of fleeting youth and opportunity (Andrew Marvell's To His Coy Mistress, or Shakespeare's first seventeen sonnets addressed to a male youth); or may expressa cool response to an importunate lover (Christina Rossetti's No, thank you, John ). In other kinds of lyrics the speaker manifests and celebrates a particulardisposition and set of values Oohn Milton's L' Allegro and n Penseroso ); or expresses a sustained process of observation and meditation in the attempt to re solve an emotional problem (Wordsworth's Ode :Intimations of Immortality, Amold's Dover Beach ); or is exhibited as making and justifying the choice of a way oflife (yeats' Sailing to Byzantium ). In the srcinal Greek, lyric signified a song rendered to the accompaniment of a lyre.In some current usages, lyric still retains the sense of a poem written tobe set to music; the hymn, for example, is a lyric on a religious subject that is in tended to be sung. The adjectival form lyrical is sometimes applied to an ex pressive, song-like passage in a narrative poem, such as Eve's declaration of loveto Adam , With thee conversing I forget all time, in Milton's Paradi se Lost, IV, 639-56 .See genre for the broad distinction between the three major poetic classes of drama, narrative (or epic), and lyric, and also for the sudden elevation oflyric, in the Romantic period, to the status of the quintessentially poetic mode . For sub classes of the lyric, see aubade, dramati c monologue, elegy, epithalamion, hymn, ode, sonnet . Ref er to Nornun Maclean, From Action to Image: Theories of theLyric in the 18th Century, in Critics and Critici s m, ed. R. S. Crane (1952);Maurice Bowra, Media e val Love-Song (1961);Chaviva Hosek and Patricia Parker,eds., Lyric Poetry: Beyond New Criticism (1985); David Lindley, Lyric (1985); Helen Vendler, The Music of What Happens (1988). For references to lyri c in other entries,see pages 134,235, 336 . For types of lyric,see aubade; dramati c monologue; ele gy; e pithalamion; folk song; haiku; ode; sonnet. machinery (in an epic): 98; 37. magazines: 333. magic realism: 232. malapropism: Malapropism is that type ofsolecism (the conspicuous and unin tended violation of standard diction or grammar) which mistakenly uses a word in place of another that it resembles; the effect is usually comic. The term derivesfrom Mrs.Malaprop in Richard Brinsley Sheridan's comedy The Rivals (1775), MARXISTCRITICISM 181 who in .the ,~t~,empt to display a copious vocabulary said things such as a progeny of learnmg, as headstrong as an allegory on the banks of the Nile d h ' th .1 f ' an e IS e very,rmeapp eo politeness. In an early radio comedy The Easy Aces, Jane Ac.e,an mveterate malaproplst, remarked: He got so excited, he ran around like achIcken wIth ItS hat off. manifestcontent: 290. manifesto: 213. manuscripts: 30. Marchen (mer shen): 125. Marxis~ criticism: Marxist criticism, in its diverse forms, grounds its theory andpractICe on the economic and cultural theory of Karl Marx (1818-83) and hisfellow-thmker Fnednch Engels (1820-95), and especially on the following claims:1. In the la~t analysis, the ~vo . lving history of humankind, of its social groupingsan.d relatIOns, of Its .mstltutIOns,and of its ways of thinking are largely deter mmed by t~e changmg mode of ItS material production -that is, of its over all econo~c orgamzatIOn for producing and distributing material goods.2.Changes m the funda~ental mode of material production effect changes in the class structure of a.soCIety, establishing in each era dominant and subordinateclasses that en~age m a. struggle for economic, political, and social advantage.3. Human conscIOusness IS constituted by an ideology-that is the b li f - lues, and ways of thinking and feeling through which human' beings ep: s, .vaand ~y recourse to which they explain, what they take to be reality. An r~~:~~ 0lgy IS, m complex ways, the product of the position and interests of a particularc ass .. n any hlstoncal era, the dominant ideology embodies, and serves to le gltIrmze and perpetuate,the interests of the dominant economic and s' al class. OCI Ideology was not much discussed by Marx and Engels after The Ge Id e ology, whIch they wrote jointly in 1845-46but it ha b k rman . M',. .' s ecome a ey concept m arxIst CntI~ISm of literature and the other arts. Marx inherited the term from French philosophers of the late eighteenth century who us' ed I't t d 'the stud f h h ' 0 eSlgnate. y 0 t e way t at all general concepts develop from particular senseperceptions.In the present era, ideology is used in a van ety f M'w 'fi 0 non- arxIstd:Ys, r~n~ng ~m a dero .gatory name for any set of political ideas that are held th . ~aoc hYan apph~d ngorously, to a neutral name for ways of perceiving and m. ng t at are specIfic to an individual's race sex nationality educao  ethmc group I 't d .1 , on, or . n 1 s IstmctIve y Marxist use the reigm'ng I'de l' ., d b 1.' 0 ogy m any era IS conceIve to. e, u tImately, the product of its economic structure and the result- mg class relatIOns and class interests. In a famed architectural m t h Mrepresented Ideology as a superstructure f h'h heap or, arx .. 0 W IC t e concurrent socioeco- nOmIC system IS the base. Friedrich Engels described ideology as a false  182 MARXIST CRITICISM consciousness, and many later Marxists consider it to be constituted largely by .unconscious prepossessions that are illusory, in contrast to the scientific (that is, Marxist) knowledge of the economic determinants, historical evolution, andpresentconstitution of the social world. A further claim is that, in t~e era of capitalisteconomic organization that emerged in the Westdunng the elghteenthcentury, the reigning ideology incorporates the interests of the dominant and exploitative class, the bourgeoisie, who own the means of productlon and distribution, as opposed to the proletariat, or wage-earning working class. Thlsideology, it is claimed, to those who live in and with it, seems a natural and inevitable way of seeing, explaining, and dealing with the environing world, but in fact has the hidden function of legitimizing and maintaining the position,power,and economicinterests of the ruling class. Bourge~is ideology is regarded as both producingandpermeating the social and cultural InstltutlOns, behefs,. and practices of the present era-including religion, morality, philosophy, pohtlcs,andthe legal system, as well as (although in a less dlrect way) hterature and theother arts.In accordance with some version of the views just outlined, a Marxist critictypically undertakes to explain the literature in any historical era, not as works createdin accordance with timeless artistic criteria, but as products of the eco nomic and ideological determinants specific to that era. What someMarxist criticsthemselves decried as vulgar Marxism analyzed a bourgeois literary work as indirect correlation with the present stage of the class struggle anddemanded thatsuchworks be replaced by a social realism that would represent the true realityand progressive forces of our time; in practice, this usually turned out to be thedemand that literature conform to an official party line. More flexible Marxists,on the other hand, building upon scattered comments on literature in Marx andEngels themselves, grant that traditional literary works possess a degree of autonomy that enables some of them to transcend the prevailing bourgeois ideologysufficiently to represent (or in the frequent Marxist equivalent, to reflect) aspects of the objective reality of their time.(See imitation.) The Hungarian thinker Georg Lukacs, one of the most widely influential of Marxist critics, represents such a flexible view of the role of ideology. Hepro posed that each great work ofliterature creates its own world, which is unique andseemingly distinct from everyday reality. But masters of realism in the novelsuch as Balzac or Tolstoy, by bringing to life the greatest possible richness of the objective conditions of life, and by creating typical characters who manifest the essential tendenciesanddeterminants of their epoch, succeed-often in opposition to [the author's) own conscious ideology -in producing a fictional worldwhich is a reflection of life in the greatest concreteness and clarity and with all its motivating contradictions. That is, the fictional world of such great writersaccords with the Marxist conception of the real world as constituted by class con flict, economicandsocial contradictions, and the alienation of the individual under capitalism. (See bourgeois epic, under epic, and refer to Georg Lukacs, Writer and Critic and Other Essays, trans.1970; the volume also includes Lukacs' usefulreview of thefoundational tenets of Marxistcriticism,in Marx andEngels on Aesthetics. ) MARXIST CRITICISM 183 While lauding nineteenth-century literary realism, Lukacs attacked modernistexperimental writers as decadent instances of concern with the subjectivity of the alienatedindividual in the fragmented world of our late stage of capitalism.(See modernism .) He thereby inaugurated a vigorous debate among Marxist critics about the political standing of formal innovators in twentieth-century literature. In opposition to Lukacs, the Frankfurt School of German Marxists, especially Theodor Adorno and MaxHorkheimer, lauded modernist writers such as JamesJoyce, Marcel Proust, and Samuel Beckett, proposing that their formal experiments, by the very fact that they fragment and disrupt the life they reflect, establish a distance and detachment that serve as an implicit critique-or yield a negative knowledge -of the dehumanizing institutions and processes of society under capitalism. Adomo and Horkheimer attempted, after WorldWar II, to ex plain why humanity, instead of entering into a truly human condition (as Marxists had predicted) is sinking into a new kind of barbarism. See the entry critique, and refer to The Essential Frankfurt School Reader, ed. Andrew Arato andEike Gebhardt (1982), and for an authoritative history of the Frankfurt School,Martin Jay, The Dialectical Imagination (1996). Two rather maverick German Marxists, Bertolt Brecht and Waiter Benjamin, who also supported modernist and nonrealistic art, have had considerable influence on non-Marxist as well as Marxist criticism. In his critical theory, and in his own dramatic writings (see epic theater), Bertolt Brecht rejected what he called the Aristotelian concept that a tragic play is an imitation of reality, with aunified plot anda universal theme that establishes an identification of the audience withthe hero and produces a catharsis of the spectator's emotions. (See Aristotle, under tragedy and plot.) Brecht proposes instead that the illusion of reality should be de liberately shattered by an episodic plot, by protagonists who do not attract the audience's sympathy, by a striking theatricality in staging and acting, and by other ways of baring the artifice of drama so as to produce an alienationeffect (see under dis-tance and involvement). The result of such alienation, Brecht asserts, will be to jar audiences out of heir passive acceptance of modern capitalist society as a natural way of hfe, Into an attltude not only (as in Adorno) of critical understanding of capitalistshortcomings, but of active cooperation with the forces of change. Another notable critic, Walter Benjamin, was both an admirer of Brecht andbriefly an associate of the Frankfurt School. Particularly influential was Benjamin'sattentlon tothe effects of changing material conditions in the production of thearts, especially the recent developments of the mass media that have promoted he said, a revol~tionary criticism of traditional concepts of art. In his essay TheWork of Art In the Age of Mechanical Reproduction, Benjamin proposes that modem technical innovations such as photography, the phonograph, the radio,and especially the cinema, have transformed the very concept and status of a w~rk of art.Formerly an artist or author produced a work which was a singleobject, regarded as the speClal preserve of the bourgeois elite, around whichde veloped a quasi-religious aura of uniqueness, autonomy, and aesthetic value independent of any social function-an aura which invited in the spectator a passiveattltude of absorbedcontemplation in the object itself (See aestheticism.) The new medla not only make possible the infinite and precise reproducibility of the  184 MARXIST CRITICISM objects of art, but effectthe production of works which, like the motion pictures,.arespecifically designed to be reproduced in multiple copies. Such modes of art,Benjamin argues, by destroying the mystique of the unique work of art as a sub ject for pure contemplation, make possiblearadical role for works of art by open ing the way to the formulation of revolutionary demands in the politics of art. (Benjamin's writings are available in Walter Benjamin, Selected Writings , 4 vols.,2002-04. Useful collections of essays by the Marxist critics Luk:ics, Brecht,Adorno, and Horkheimer are R.Taylor, ed., Aesthetics and Politics, 1977; and Roger S. Gotdieb, ed., An Anthology of Western Marxism : From Lukacs and Gramsci to Socialist-Feminism, 1989.) The second half of the twentieth century witnessed a resurgence of Marxistcriticism, marked by an openness, on some level of literary analysis, to other current critical perspectives; a flexibility whichacknowledgesthat Marxist critical the ory is itself, at least to some degree, an evolving historical process; a subtilizing of the concept of ideology as applied to literary content; and a tendency to grant anincreased role to nonideological and distinctively artistic determinants of literarystructures and values.In the 1960s the influential French Marxist Louis Althusser assimilated the structuralism thencurrentinto his view that the structure of society is not amonolithic whole, but is constituted by a diversiry of nonsynchronous socialfornutions, or ideological state apparatuses, including religious, legal, political,and literary institutions.Each of these possesses a relative autonomy ; only in the last instance is the ideology of a particular institution determined by its ma terial base in contemporary economic production. In an influential reconsideration of the general nature of ideology, Althusser opposes its definition as simply false consciousness. He declares instead that the ideology of each mode, of stateapparatus is different, and operates by means of a discourse which interpellates (calls upon) the individual to take up a pre-established subject position -that is, a position as a person with certain views and values, which, however, in everyinstance serve the ultimate interests of the ruling class .(See discourse and subject under poststructuralism .) Althusser affirms, furthermore, that a great work of literature is not a mere product of ideology, because its fiction establishes for thereader a distance from which to recognize, hence expose, the ideology from which it is born ...from which it detaches itself as art, and towhich italludes. Pierre Macherey, in A Theory of Literary Production (1966, trans. 1978),stressed the supplementary claim that a literary text not only distances itself from its ideology by its fiction and form, but also exposes the contradictions that areinherent in that ideology by its silences or gaps -that is, by what the text fails to say because its inherent ideology makes it impossible to say it. Combining Marxism and Freudianism, Macherey asserts that such textual ab sences are symptoms of ideological repressions of the contents in the text's own unconscious. The aim of Marxist criticism, Macherey asserts, is to make thesesilences speak and so to reveal, behind what an author consciously intended to say, the text's unconscious content-that is, its repressed awareness of the flaws,stresses, and incoherence in the very ideology that it incorporates. (See hermeneu tics of suspicion.) MARXIST CRITICISM 185 Between 1929 and 1935 the Italian Communist Antonio Gramsci, while im prisoned by the fascist government, wrote approximately thirty documents on political, social, and cultural subjects, known as the prisonnotebooks. Gramscimaintains the srcinal Marxist distinction between the economic base and thecultural superstructure, but replaces the claim that culture is a disguised reflec tion of the material base with the concept that the relationship between the two is one of reciprocity, or interactive influence.Gramsci places special em phasis on the popular, as opposed to the elite elements of culture, ranging from folklore and popular music to the cinema. Grarnsci's most widely echoed concept is that of hegemony: that a social class achieves a predominant influence andpower, not by direct and overt means, but by succeeding in making its ideologicalviews so pervasive that the subordinate classes unwittinglyacceptand participate intheir own oppression. The concept of hegemony, unlike the classical Marxist con ception of ideology, implies an openness to negotiation and exchange, as well as conflict, between classes, and so refashions Marxist categories to fit a modem, post-industrial society in which diverse concepts and ideas, apart from modes of production, play a leading role. Another appealing feature of Gramsci's thought to recent theorists is his emphasis on the role of intellectuals and opinion makersin helping people understand how they can effect their own transformation.Especially since Gramsci's prison writings began to be translated into English in1971, they have had a strong influence on literary and social critics such as TerryEagleton in England and Fredric Jameson and Edward Said in America, who argue for the power of literary culture to intervene in and transform existing economic and political arrangements and activities. (See Gramsci, Selections from Cultural Writings, trans. William Boelhower, 1985; David Forgacs, ed., The Antonio Gramsci Reader: Selected Writings 1916--1935, 2000; Chantal Mouffe, ed., Gramsci and Marxist Theory, 1979.)Grarnsci's writings also inspired a number of post-Marxist thinkers, who sought to adapt Marxism to poststructural discourse. Among these was a leader of the British Cultural Studies movement, Stuart Hall. (See cultural studies, also culturalmaterialism under the entry new historicism.) Hall insisted that ideology must not be considered a false consciousness or kind of concealment, but rather as a multifaceted .force in the struggle for cultural power, carried on in the mode of theproduction of meaning. All meaning, Hall said, is always a social production,a practice. The world has to be made to mean. (See Hall, The Recovery of 'Ideology,' in Michael Gurevitch and others, eds., Culture, Society and the Media, 1982.)Also strongly influenced by Gramsci were Ernesto Laclau and ChantalMouffe, who in Hegemony and SocialistStrategy (1985) argued foranunderstanding of soc~ety grounde~,~ot in economic determinism, but in the nature oflanguage. AdaptI~g the ~InguIStIC view of Ferdinand de Saussure that the identity of a signand of Its SIgnIficance was not intrinsic, but determined by its position in a differ ~ntial . sy~~em, they argued that such ~nfixity  was the condition of every socialIdentIty, so that the place of power In a society can be legitimately occupied byanyone or any group. With the aid of Sausserian language theory, Laclau andMouffe propose a view of society that, instead of being stricdy determined by  186 MARXIST CRITICISM modes of production and the laws of economics, is open to innovation, transformation, and self-invention.(For Saussure's linguistic theory, see under linguistics in , literarycriticism and semiotics. For post-Marxist theory in general, refer to GeoffreyGalt Harpham, Language Alone: The Critical Fetish of Modernity, 2002, pp. 70-141.) In England the many social and critical writings of Raymond Williams mani fest an adaptation of Marxist concepts to his humanistic concern with the overalltexture of an individual's lived experience. A leading theorist of Marxist criticism in England is Terry Eagleton, who expanded and elaborated the concepts of Althusser and Macherey into his view that a literary text is a special kind of production in which ideological discourse--described as any system of mental re presentations oflived experience-is reworked into a specifically literary discourse.In recent years Eagleton has been increasingly hospitable to the tactical use,fordealing with ideology in literature, of concepts derived from deconstruction and from Lacan's version of Freudian psychoanalysis . Eagleton views such poststructuralist analyses as useful to Marxist critics of literary texts insofar as they serve to undermine reigning beliefs and certainties, but solely as preliminary to the prop erly Marxist enterprise of exposing their ideological motivation and to the application of the criticism of literature toward politically desirable ends. The most prominent American theorist, Fredric Jameson, is also the mosteclectic of Marxist critics.In The Political Unconscious: Narrative as a Socially Symbolic Act (1981), Jameson expressly adapts to his critical enterprise such seem ingly incompatible viewpoints as the medieval theory of fourfold levels of mean ing in the allegorical interpretation of the Bible, the archetypal criticism of Northrop Frye, structuralist criticism, Lacan's reinterpretations of Freud, semiotics, and deconstruc- tion . These modes of criticism, Jameson asserts, are applicable at various stages of the critical interpretation of a literary work; but Marxist criticism, he contends, subsumes all the other interpretive modes, by retaining their positive findingswithin a political interpretation of literary texts which stands as the final or absolute horizon of all reading and all interpretation. This last-analysis politicalinterpretation of a literary text involves an exposure of the hidden role of the political unconscious -a concept which Jameson describes as his collective, or political, adaptation of the Freudian concept that each individual's uncon scious is a repository of repressed desires. (See psychological and psychoanalytic criticism .) In a mode similar to Macherey, Jameson affirms that in any literary product of our late capitalist era, the rifts and discontinuities in the text, and especiallythose elements which ,in the French phrase, are its non-dit (its not-said), aresymptoms of the repression by a predominant ideology of the contradictions of History into the depths of the political unconscious; and the content of this re pressed History, Jameson asserts, is the revolutionary process of the collectivestruggle to wrest a realm of Freedom from a realm of Necessity. In the final stage of an interpretation, Jameson holds, the Marxist critic rewrites, in the mode of allegory, the literary text in such a way that the [text] may be seen as the ... re~onstruction of a prior historical or ideological subtext -that is, of the text's un spoken, because repressed and unconscious, awareness of the ways it is determined not only by current ideology, but also by the long-term process of true History. (See allegory.) MASQUE 187 Referto sociology of iterature, and for the Marxist wing of the new historicism,see cultural materialism under the entry newhistoricism. Useful introductions to Marxist criticism in general are the essays in Maynard Solomon, ed., Marxism and Art: Essays Classic andContemporary (1979); Terry Eagleton and Drew Milne, eds., Marxist UteraryTheory: A Reader (1996). In addition to the writings listed above,refer to Georg Lukacs, Studies in European Realism (1950); Raymond Williams, Culture and Society, 1780-1950 (1960) and Marxism and Uterature (1977); PeterDemetz, Marx, Engels and thePoets: Origins cif Marxist Uterary Criticism (1967); Waiter Benjamin, Illuminations (trans. 1968); Louis Althusser, Lenin and Philosophy, and Other Essays (1969, trans. 1971), and For Marx (1996); FredricJameson, Marxism and Form (1971), and Late Marxism :Adorno, or the Persistence of the Dialectic (1996); Lee Baxandall and Stefan Morawski, eds., Marx and Engels on Uterature and Art (1973); Terry Eagleton, Criticism and Ideology (1976) and Marxismand UteraryCriticism (1976); Chris Bullock and David Peck, eds., Guide to Marxist Uterary Criticism (1980); Michael Ryan, Marxism and Deconstruction (1982); J. J. McGann, The Romantic Ideology (1983); J. G Merquior, Western Marxism (1986). Various essays by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak assimilate Marxist concepts both to deconstruction and to the viewpoint of feminist criticism; see, for example, her Displacement and the Discourse of Women, in Displacement: Derrida and Afier, ed. Mark Krupnick (1983). For Derrida's reading of Marx, see his Specters of Marx: The State cif the Debt, the Work cif Mourning, and the New International (1994). For a sharp critique of recent theorists of Marxist criticism, see FrederickCrews, Dialectical Immaterialism, in Skeptical Engagements (1986); also Richard Levin, TheNew Interdisciplinarity in Literary Criticism, in Nancy Easterlin andBarbara Riebling, eds., Afier Poststructuralism : Interdisciplinarity and Literary Theory, 1993. Marxist concerns also serve to form the new formalism in literary criticism;see Robert Kaufinan, Red Kant, or The Persistence of the Third Critique in Adomo and Jameson, Critical Inquiry, Vol. 26 (2000). For references to Marxist criticism in other entries, see pages 8, 65, 78, 128, 146, 161,224,230,281,334. masculine ending: 197. masculine rhyme: 317. masque: The masque (a variant spelling of mask ) was inaugurated in RenaissanceItaly and flourished in England during the reigns of Elizabeth I, James I, and Charles I. In its full development, it was an elaborate form of court entertainmentthat combined poetic drama, music, song, dance, splendid costuming, and stagespectacle. A plot-often slight, and mainly mythological and allegorical-servedtohold together these diverse elements. The speaking characters, who wore masks(hence the title), were often played by amateurs who belonged to courtly society. The play concluded with a dance in which the players doffed their masks and werejoined bythe audience. In the early seventeenth century in England the masque drew upon the finestartistic talents of the day, including Ben Jonson for the poetic script (for example, TheMasque of Blacknesse and The Masque of Queens) and Inigo Jones, the architect,
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