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Archaeologies of the Future: The Desire Called Utopia and Other Science Fictions

4.04  ·  Rating details ·  449 ratings  ·  22 reviews
In an age of globalization characterized by the dizzying technologies of the First World and the social disintegration of the Third, is the concept of utopia still meaningful?

Archaeologies of the Future, Jameson’s most substantial work since Postmodernism, Or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, investigates the development of this form since Thomas More, and interrogat
Paperback, 431 pages
Published April 17th 2007 by Verso (first published 2005)
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Gregg Wingo
Jul 19, 2012 rated it it was amazing
A non-apologist review of the science fiction genre through the eyes of America's leading Postmodernist thinker. You will need to bring your knowledge of the Western Canon and contemporary philosophy with you in order to fully appreciate this text. Its division into books I and II enables regular science fiction readers to access straight forward reviews in Book II.

Expect to learn from this book and don't expect him to enshrine SF into the Western Canon but rather to provide you with an understa
Nov 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Bruising hermeneutic Marxism got no answers just diagrams and arrows. Easy to point out limitations of Jameson's approach, still, for someone thinking about the emergence of science fiction out of 17th century utopias and advances,this provides a number of useful generic definitions and distinctions to work with and against. It also provides a defense of utopic literature to supplement Russell Jacoby's intellectually fuzzy one. Holy fuck Steph Curry is killing it.
Aug 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: utopia-dystopia
One of the rare books that really merits the "amazing" mark. The book is difficult to read because the ideas are deeply explored, original and counter-intuitive in many cases. Jameson also draws on a huge range of philosophical and literary texts, and actually explains them fairly clearly. Unlike a lot of literary theory that may rely on obscure language to express banal ideas, perform standard or moralistic ideological readings of narratives, /or congratulate itself for radicalism in some way, ...more
Dec 24, 2013 rated it liked it
Brilliant novel, but very dense and difficult to follow if you're not plugged into the conversation already. Jameson's book speaks to a very specific audience, and if you are not part of that audience, prepare to be left in the dust.
Oct 10, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Jameson's book is comparable in stature and ambition to Georg Lukacs's _The Historical Novel_, which Jameson himself has dubbed the most significant volume of dialectical literary criticism. Jameson succeeds in doing for science fiction--particularly in its utopian form--what Lukacs did for the historical novel. _Archaeologies of the Future_ is a major achievement of materialist critique.
May 05, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Examines Utopia as a literary form, as a subset (and perhaps earliest example) of science fiction; how science fiction is reflected in Utopian thinking, and vice versa; and the limitations, impossibility of, and absolutely necessary function the concept of Utopia has provided in the modern and postmodern eras.

Part one of the book covers my all too brief (and completely lacking in nuance) introduction, and part two is a series of essays Jameson wrote over a period of thirty years in which he deve
Sean Estelle
Nov 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
I'm feeling positive about this book because the last essay was the real reason I bought the book to begin with - analysis of Kim Stanley Robinson's Mars trilogy. This was definitely above my reading level in many ways - but even with a good amount of 'what is he talking about', I still enjoyed the cross-novel connection building and reflections that Jameson was making!

Not for the faint of heart, but overall I'm glad I took the time to read it.
Katie Bayford
Oct 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Not for the faint-hearted; essential for anyone in the field.
Jun 25, 2019 added it
Shelves: gave-up
Fredric Jameson annoys the hell out of me.
Jul 05, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2020
Jameson gambols about on the fringes of utopia.
May 09, 2009 added it
Shelves: miscellanea
Literary criticism in the form of a collection of essays, this book explores particular aspects of the genre of science fiction:

"Religion was perhaps the most ancient organizing concept in the emergence of anthropology as a discipline: the ultimately determining instance for national or racial character, the ultimate source of cultural difference itself, the marker of the individuality of the various peoples in history (a role it still plays in Hegel and whose revival today we can witness in ide
Tineke Dijkstra
Jul 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2016
Finished the sections of this work that I really wanted to read for now, but I am certainly not done with it and will return to this A LOT. What a great contribution to the secondary literature supporting my PhD research!

I disagreed with Jameson on some minor points (which is totally ok) and would've liked him to elaborate on certain issues more. However... Maybe not. That leaves room for me to do so!

4/5 stars because what always confuses me is why cultural theorists feel the need to explain th
Sep 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Eh. He wanders. A lot. And I guess I should be more accepting of that, but really he's all over the place. And in the context of Utopian studies, I imagine it all kind of makes sense, but the problem is that it really does seem like the science fiction and anti-utopian are just welded on here until the second part which, unfortunately, is mostly just rehashing the same things from earlier in the book. Get Freedman's "Science Fiction and Critical Theory" instead.
Jun 19, 2019 added it
yleishyvää kamaa utopistisen ajattelun teemoista, rajoista ja mahdollisuuksista; tän innoittamana aion lukea VIELÄ ENEMMÄN radikaalia käppäscifiä; tavoitteenani on sellainen tulevaisuus, jossa kaikilla on joku, joka rakastaa heitä yhtä syvästi kuin tämä meidän Reetu rakastaa Greimasin semioottisen neliön käyttöä
Aug 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Super theoretical and dense! But if you can forgive the overuse of German phrases with no English equivalent this serves as a really good primer to some very exciting sci-fi! I can't wait to read (or watch the movie verison of) Solaris!
Chad Brock
Sep 17, 2014 rated it liked it
Scott Neigh
Read partially for school. May go back and read it more thoroughly at some point, as there were some quite compelling bits, but not for the moment.
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Oct 08, 2010 rated it really liked it
Pretty cool.
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Kim Eldridge
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Jul 04, 2015
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Theara Thou
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Future ... Real? 1 3 Jun 05, 2013 05:44PM  

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Fredric Jameson is an American literary critic and Marxist political theorist. He is best known for his analysis of contemporary cultural trends—he once described postmodernism as the spatialization of culture under the pressure of organized capitalism. Jameson's best-known books include Postmodernism: The Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, The Political Unconscious, and Marxism and Form.

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