To mark the new exhibition, Vorticists: Manifesto for a Modern World, which opens at the Tate Britain today, Verso are giving away Fredric Jameson's classic book, Fables of Agression: Wyndham Lewis, the Modernist as Fascist, along with two of his other books.
While Fables of Agression primarily focuses on Wyndham Lewis' novels, Lewis was also the founder of the short-lived avant-garde Vorticist art and poetry movement. Among its other key members were the artists Jacob Epstein and Henri Gaudier-Brzeska, and it was also linked with modernist poets Ezra Pound, who gave the movement its name, and T. S Eliot).
The Tate exhibition focuses on the art of the Vorticist movement and the paintings of Lewis, Epstein and Gaudier-Brzeska, showcased in the only two Vorticist exhibitions ever to have taken place. It also highlights the often overlooked female Vorticists, who included Helen Saunders and Dorothy Shakespear. From the exhibition blurb:
Vorticism was a radical art movement that shone briefly but brightly in the years before and during World War I. This exhibition celebrates the full electrifying force and vitality of this short-lived but pivotal modernist movement that was based in London but international in make-up and ambition ...
This exhibition aims to shine a new light on this revolutionary group of artists, presenting the style, radical aesthetics and thoughts of one of the most truly avant-garde art movements in British history.
An new review from Choice offers a useful summary of Fredric Jameson's The Hegel Variations: on the Phenomenology of Spirit:
Although best known as a Marxist theoretician, Jameson (Duke Univ.) long has declared his debt to Hegel's Phenomenology. Yet Jameson's distance is evident in the title's musical allusion, in turn owing something to Adorno's advocacy of variation form—development that keeps its options open. Mediating the poles of formalism and hermeneutics, structure and narrative (or history), his approach, he says, "might helpfully defamiliarize readings of Hegel's texts as a whole, recasting each moment as a determinate variation on subject/object ratios." Not everyone will admire Jameson's heavy dialectical machinery. But once in gear it yields a series of audacious reading of a "non-teleological" Hegel, throwing a distinctive light on such themes as master-slave dialectic, linguistic subjectivity, expressive production ("the animal kingdom of spirit"), normative division in the Antigone (inaugurating chapter 6, "Spirit"), and the French Revolution. Jameson then projects a history that extends modernism into contemporary globalism, and finally sketches out a reading of Hegel on religious picture-thinking (Vorstellung) interpreted in turn as allegory. It is material enough for several books. Recommended.
[M. Donougho, University of South Carolina—Columbia]