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By Christopher Prendergast

ISBN-10: 0816622817

ISBN-13: 9780816622818

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The Politics of Postmodernism). Taking Williams seriously is among other things squirming uncomfortably in that silence, though there is of course the difficulty that Williams's own writings can also occasionally leave us squirming, especially when the word natural reappears, in talk of something called "natural communities"; it is surely right to see here a disabling movement in Williams's thought from the complex to the simple. " In this connection, we should also note the rejection, in the same interview, of the idea of national community on the grounds of its exclusiveness ("this idea of the nation, .

With Raymond Williams, more than with most, one hears a voice. It is a voice that death has not undone, a voice that suggests that metaphors of passing, of a wake, or waking, are more opportune than those of finality for describing the legacy we now have to consider. Let me be briefly autobiographical in order to situate what I am about to say. I knew Raymond Williams hardly at all, but listened to him a lot, in lectures and meetings. I did not, then, have a particularly intimate relation to him of the sort that might have made his voice immediate and memorable, as are those of our loved ones.

14 So far, then, the structure of feeling seems to define something very like ideology in its classic and negative sense—the false consciousness emanating from a (ruling or emergent) class interest. But we also have here an endorsement of some degree of direct apprehension, of felt conviction (in Carlyle), along with the implication that it is the gift of great literature to perform this apprehension. The doctrinal content of the structure of feeling seems to be found wanting (in Eliot), while the writer is commended for a committed and lively embodying of it.

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Cultural Materialism: On Raymond Williams (Cultural Politics) by Christopher Prendergast


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