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New Left Review 59, September-October 2009


terry eagleton

JAMESON AND FORM

There is surely no doubt that Fredric Jameson is not only an eminent critic but a great one, fit to assume his place in a roll-call of illustrious names stretching from Edmund Wilson, Kenneth Burke, F. R. Leavis and Northrop Frye to I. A. Richards, William Empson and Paul de Man. Even this is to limit the judgement to Anglophone colleagues only, whereas the true field of comparison ranges much more widely. No literary scholar today can match Jameson’s versatility, encyclopaedic erudition, imaginative brio or prodigious intellectual energy. In an age when literary criticism, like so much else, has suffered something of a downturn, with forlornly few outstanding figures in the field, Jameson looms like a holdover from a grander cultural epoch altogether, a refugee from the era of Shklovsky and Auerbach, Jakobson and Barthes, who is nonetheless absolutely contemporary.

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Terry Eagleton, ‘Jameson and Form’, NLR 59: £3
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