By T. V. Reed
T.V. Reed urges an association among literary conception and political actionand among political motion and literary idea. What can the "new literary thought" study from "new social movements"; and what can social activists research from poststructuralism, new historicism, feminist conception, and neomarxism? In strikingly new interpretations of texts in 4 assorted genresAgee and Evans's allow us to Now compliment recognized males, Ellison's Invisible guy, Mailer's Armies of the evening, and the ecofeminist Women's Pentagon activities of the early 1980sReed exhibits how studying literary texts for his or her political thoughts and studying political hobbies as texts might help us triumph over yes rhetorical traps that experience undermined American efforts to wrestle racism, sexism, and fiscal inequality.
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Extra info for Fifteen Jugglers, Five Believers: Literary Politics and the Poetics of American Social Movements (The New Historicism : Studies in Cultural Poetics,)
Postmodernist realism is a form that attempts at once to recoup the power of fiction for historiography and political writing, and to persuade fiction to take history and politics more seriously. But in the name of realistically radical politics, it also resists exaggerating the extent to which certain postmodern textual strategies can simply be transferred into wider arenas of action. My readings of the various kinds of texts presented are meant, then, as examples of strategies for writing with and against the grain to create politically useful interventions.
The classic, lean, seemingly straightforward (mostly posed, full-frontal, sharply lighted) photographs cross-illumine and are illumined by the more baroque, darkly turning prose in such a way that the capacities and limitations of each medium may begin to be seen. Through this process mediation itself becomes a subject of the text. Fict or Faction? Agee's most direct assault on conventions of immediacy comes through a refusal of the categories of fact and fiction. As Raymond Williams and others have made clear, the neat separation of the factual and the fictional, the real and the imaginative, is a relatively recent (post-eighteenth-century) phenomenon.
Realist discourses, for example, continue to be immensely influential amidst as well as against postmodernist ones. I would insist, therefore, that oppositional movements need to deploy traditional, realist forms in certain strategic contexts: to challenge empiricism on its own terms so long as it remains one sectorally dominant ideological stance, and in other contexts as a "residual" element (to use Raymond Williams's term) that can be used against the emerging normative reflexivity of postmodernism.
Fifteen Jugglers, Five Believers: Literary Politics and the Poetics of American Social Movements (The New Historicism : Studies in Cultural Poetics,) by T. V. Reed