A good line

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The writing in Fredric Jameson’s cinema books is notoriously bad.

The chief problem isn’t that it’s unclarifiably obscure or difficult to construe, in the way of much academic bullshit. (G.A. Cohen: ‘For the record, I do not believe that Hegel was a bullshitter, and I am too ignorant of the work of Heidegger to say whether or not he was a bullshitter. But I agree with my late supervisor Gilbert Ryle that Heidegger was a shit.’) It’s that too; but above all it’s just syntactically wacky.

But this line Jameson’s The Geopolitical Aesthetic is rather good, I think:

[It] would be comical to wish the social burden of bourgeois respectability and elaborate moral taboo back into existence merely to re-endow the sex drive with the value of a political act.

Doesn’t such comedy describe the (spuriously ‘subversive’) activities of countless ‘radical’ activists and identity politicians?

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3 Responses to “A good line”

  1. Nick Says:

    Not as good as this from Trotsky’s Literature and Revolution:

    The French romanticists, as well as the German, always spoke scathingly of bourgeois morality and philistine life. More than that, they wore long hair, flirted with a green complexion, and for the ultimate shaming of the bourgeoisie, Theophile Gautier put on a sensational red vest. The Futurist yellow blouse is undoubtedly a grandniece to this romantic vest, which inspired such horror to the papas and mammas. As is known, nothing cataclysmic followed these rebellious protests of the long hair or the red vest of romanticism, and bourgeois public opinion safely adopted these gentlemen romantics and canonized them in their school textbooks.

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