Raymond Chandler: The Detections of Totality

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Verso Books, Aug 23, 2016 - Literary Criticism - 96 pages
The master of literary theory takes on the master of the detective novel

Raymond Chandler, a dazzling stylist and portrayer of American life, holds a unique place in literary history, straddling both pulp fiction and modernism. With The Big Sleep, published in 1939, he left an indelible imprint on the detective novel. Fredric Jameson offers an interpretation of Chandler’s work that reconstructs both the context in which it was written and the social world or totality it projects. Chandler’s invariable setting, Los Angeles, appears both as a microcosm of the United States and a prefiguration of its future: a megalopolis uniquely distributed by an unpromising nature into a variety of distinct neighborhoods and private worlds. But this essentially urban and spatial work seems also to be drawn towards a vacuum, an absence that is nothing other than death. With Chandler, the thriller genre becomes metaphysical.

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User Review  - pomo58 - LibraryThing

In Raymond Chandler: The Detections of Totality Fredric Jameson returns to his work on the detective novel, focusing this time on Chandler. As usual Jameson makes nuanced observations and posits very ... Read full review

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User Review  - Welsh_eileen2 - LibraryThing

An interesting critique of Raymond Chandler and his novels. I was given a digital copy of this book by the publisher Verso Books via Netgalley in return for an honest unbiased review. Read full review

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Shill Game
Mapping Space
The Barrier at the End of the World

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About the author (2016)

Fredric Jameson is Distinguished Professor of Comparative Literature at Duke University. The author of numerous books, he has over the last three decades developed a richly nuanced vision of Western culture’s relation to political economy. He was a recipient of the 2008 Holberg International Memorial Prize. He is the author of many books, including Postmodernism, Or, the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism; Archaeologies of the Future; Valences of the Dialectic; Antinomies of Realism; and The Ancients and the Postmoderns.

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