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Title:  The Topographical Imagination of Jameson, Baudrillard, and Foucault Author: Michael James Rizza Series: Emergence Imprint: Noesis Press (The Davies Group, Publishers) 212 pp. soft cover USD 26.00 ISBN 978-1934542514 April   2015 This in-depth discussion of several canonical theorists — Fredric Jameson, Jean Baudrillard, and Michel Foucault — traces the trajectory of their ideas from one text to the next. It focuses on how these theorists attempt to avoid the problem of representation, as well as humanist subjectivity, even as they imagine the external situations that shape individual identity. Although the author offers in-depth overviews, he does not simply rehearse the theories, such as many introductions to theory do. Instead, he excavates the topographical imagination that results from seeking to constitute the subject from without, from its external situation. He draws forth the organizing figure of each theorist’s spatial thinking—Jameson’s Marxist dialectical levels, Baudrillard’s double spiral of the symbolic and the semiotic, and Foucault’s dual bar of exclusion—which provides readers an innovative way to approach complex ideas. Contents Preface  Acknowledgements  List of Abbreviations  Chapter 1  Introduction: Postmodern Alienation  Chapter 2  Fredric Jameson’s Dialectical Levels, or, Strolling Towards Postmodernism Strolling through War Strolling through a Hotel A Digression in Terminology The Level of Lived Experience  Yoking/Measuring Difference Postmodern Space  A Cultural Product A Whole System of Parts Levels or Ghostlier Demarcations Horizons Chapter 3  Baudrillard’s Hostile Worlds, or, Double-Spiraling Pataphysically The Primitive Order, or, the Always Already Past The Counterfeit and Production From Symbolic Exchange to Seduction, or, the Always Already Present Hyperreal, or, the Always Already Reproduced From Seduction to the Fatal Chapter 4  Michel Foucault’s System of Thought, or, Totalities and their Exclusions The Concept of Madness Internal Rules: Episteme and Discourse The Power/Knowledge Regime Conclusion Notes Bibliography Index “The   Topographical   Imagination   of   Jameson,   Baudrillard,   and   Foucault    is   indeed,   as   Michael   James   Rizza   argues,   a   collection   of   several   tapestries:      a   study   of   three   of   the   most important   theorists   of   the   postmodern   period,   whose   individual   trajectories   are   traced   over   the   course   of   their   careers;   an   exploration   of   the   subject   as   it   evolves   from   an original   Enlightenment   model;   a   consideration   of   the   various   organizing   figures—system   of   levels,   double-spiral,   dual   caesura—by   which   today’s   projected   worlds   are imagined.   In   the   end,   readers   are   provided   with   an   intellectual   history   that   is   as   wide-ranging—from   Spinoza   and   Kant   to   Debord   and   Lefebvre—as   it   is   Incisive   .   .   .   the theoretical   is   always   informed   by   a   command   of   literature   that   is   breathtaking   in   its   scope—from   Cervantes   to   Milosz   to   Borges   to   Pynchon   .   .   .   .      Integrating   all   of   this   into   a seamless whole is not the easiest of tasks, and it is to the book’s great credit that it does so and in such a way as to join clarity with acuity beautifully.”  —Stacey Olster  Professor of English, Stony Brook University      The Author Michael   James   Rizza   (PhD,   American   Literature)   is   the   author   of   the   award-winning   novel   Cartilage   and   Skin,    short   fiction,   and   various   academic   articles.   He   teaches   at   Kean University in New Jersey.
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