Best Books of 2020

  Galina Rymbu | Life in Space (Translated by Joan Brooks) To be political, poetry does not have to turn into advertising, advocate for parties or platforms. Poetry becomes political when it represents the world as having a nature that is not “natural,” but rather negotiated, an Indra’s net that is political, social, and economic; made up of contingencies, and having to do with power—mainly of people over people—which is buttressed by ideology first and coercion second. A poetry that represents the world as political is political. It is also secular. A poetry that represents the world as immutable is…

Fredric Jameson; Brecht and Method

Fredric Jameson; Brecht and Method (Full book)   Each Scene for Itself David Edgar The major contribution of the English theatre to last year’s Brecht centenary was Lee Hall’s dazzling version of Mr Puntila and His Man Matti, presented by the Right Size, a touring company led by the comic actors Sean Foley and Hamish McColl. Their prologue goes some way to explaining why the Anglophone response to the Brechtfest was so muted. Announcing that ‘Before we start/this evening’s art/we’d like to take you through a bit of theory,’ Foley and McColl went on to outline the origins of Marxism, the…

Fredric Jameson | Rimbaud and the Spatial Text

I want to see if I can make a very schematic contribution to the problem of the preconditions, the conditions of possibility, of a particular realization of what we generally call modernism, namely the poetry of Arthur Rimbaud. The problem I want to focus on has to be initially distinguished from both the analysis of that poetry and its interpretation. But the question of the “objective” conditions of possibility of these texts must also be differentiated from the biographical approach, even from those sophisticated contemporary psycho-biographies which offer an expanded sense of the very complex determinations in the construction of…