Literary Theory: The Political Unconscious (Lecture 18 of 26)

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Introduction to Theory of Literature (ENGL 300) In this lecture, Professor Paul Fry explores Fredric Jameson's seminal work, The Political Unconscious, as an outcropping of Marxist literary criticism and structural theory. Texts such as Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind" and Shakespeare's seventy-third sonnet are examined in the context of Jameson's three horizons of underlying interpretive frameworks--the political, the social, and the historical, each carefully explained. The extent to which those frameworks permeate individual thought is addressed in a discussion of Jameson's concept of the "ideologeme." The theorist's work is juxtaposed with the writings of Bakhtin and Levi-Strauss. The lecture concludes by revisiting the children's story Tony the Tow Truck, upon which Jameson's theory of literature is mapped. 00:00 - Chapter 1. Marxist Aesthetics and Frederic Jameson 07:42 - Chapter 2. Romance at the Three Horizons 22:18 - Chapter 3. The Political Unconscious at the Three Horizons 38:08 - Chapter 4. Literary Analysis: Shelley's "Ode to the West Wind" 43:34 - Chapter 5. The Formal Emphasis at the Three Horizons 47:16 - Chapter 6. Acknowledged Interpretive Dangers 49:55 - Chapter 7. Application: Tony the Tow Truck Complete course materials are available at the Open Yale Courses website: http://open.yale.edu/courses This course was recorded in Spring 2009.
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