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THE RIVER OF TIME
Utopia has always been one of Fredric Jameson’s defining concerns. No intellectual thread has been more continuous in his work, from Marxism and Form through to A Singular Modernity, whose final words read: ‘What we really need is a wholesale displacement of the thematics of modernity by the desire called Utopia. We need to combine a Poundian mission to identify Utopian tendencies with a Benjaminian geography of their sources and a gauging of their pressure at what are now multiple sea levels. Ontologies of the present demand archaeologies of the future, not forecasts of the past’.  A Singular Modernity, London–New York 2002, p. 215. For earlier reflections, see Marxism and Form, Princeton 1971, pp. 110–59; The Political Unconscious, Ithaca 1981, pp. 281–99; The Ideologies of Theory, Minneapolis 1988, vol. ii, pp. 75–101; Signatures of the Visible, New York–London 1990, pp. 9–34; Postmodernism, or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, Durham–London 1991, pp. 154–80. Yet though present everywhere, this is a concern that for the first time comes into full focus in the essay published in nlr 25. ‘The Politics of Utopia’ offers his most comprehensive meditation to date on a subject central to his work.
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