Marxism Refracted

Volume 29, No. 1 Fall 2015

Editors' Note


Jim Holstun: Antigone Becomes Jocasta: Soha Bechara, Résistante, and Incendies

What happens when the memoirs of Soha Bechara, a Lebanese revolutionary, become the raw materials for a late-symbolist playwright? Bechara, her fellow militants, and the interviewers and documentarians who have focused on them produce a complex realist narrative of communist resistance to Lebanese sectarianism and Israeli occupation. But by turning Soha Bechara into Nawal Marwan, Wajdi Mouawad and the culture industry turn an eloquent, militant Antigone into a catatonic, ill-fated Jocasta.

James Christie: Jameson Among the Contras:
Third-World Culture, Neoliberal Globalization, and the Latin American Connection

Historicizing Fredric Jameson’s seminal “Third-World Literature and Multinational Capital,” James Christie identifies Jameson’s concrete involvement with the struggles of the embattled Latin-American Left as the source of the relevance of Jameson’s theory of third-world literature to the later emergence of neoliberal globalization, which originates in mutations in the structure of U.S. imperialism that date from the time of the “Third World Literature” essay.

Malcolm K. Read: What We Talk About When We Talk About Marxism:
Juan Carlos Rodríguez, Althusser, and the Ideological Unconscious

Malcolm Read offers an overview and critical assessment of the work of Spanish Marxist Juan Carlos Rodríguez read through his most recent book, De qué hablamos cuando hablamos de marxismo. Ranging over the work of Poulantzas, Roy Bhaskar, Marx, Althusser, and Brecht, Read seeks to substantiate the claim that any Marxist analysis worthy of its name should start from the notion of exploitation; to depart from the characteristically bourgeois opposition between subject/object, agent/structure, and so on is, in effect, to “sink Marxism.”

Alexander Bove: “Why does the other want to destroy me?”: The Face of the Other, the Death Drive, and $urplus Jouissance in the Time of Late Capitalism

What happens to a culture in which the death drive has been totally repressed and turned into a narcissistic desire to consume? Alexander Bove’s response to A. Kiarina Kordela’s first book, $urplus: Spinoza, Lacan (2007), puts ethics, psychoanalysis, Marxism, and biopolitics in conversation with each other. Drawing out a gap in Kordela’s logic, Bove concludes that the insertion Levinas’s concept of the face allows us to conceptualize the role of the death drive in ethics in late capitalism.

Book Reviews

Brent Ryan Bellamy: Tropics of Finance

Brent Ryan Bellamy reviews Leigh Claire La Berge's Scandals and Abstraction: Financial Fiction of the Long 1980s.

Ryan M. Brooks: The Struggle is Real:
A Review of Reading Capitalist Realism

Ryan M. Brooks reviews Alison Shonkwiler's and Leigh Claire La Berge's Reading Capitalist Realism

Jen Hedler Phillis: The Last Western’s Missing Piece

Jen Hedler Phillis reviews Paul Stasi's and Jennifer Greiman's The Last Western: Deadwood and and the End of American Empire