A Doll in Used

Response II
In her writing, “Can the Subaltern Speak?” Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak refers to Deleuze’s statement of theory and practice as action, and Marx’s representation in discussing representation itself. Spivak uses both “theoretician” to create a new thought of thing they are talking about. According to Barthes, this kind of “work” can be considered as criticism. Spivak’s argument to Delueze’s and Marx’s writing “gives a language to the particular discourse [pure parole] which reads literature and gives one voice [une parole] (among others) to the mythical language [langue] of which the work is made and with which science is concerned.” (1966:32)

In my opinion, Spivak thinks of Deleuze’s problematization of the distinction between theory and practice as a problem because there is only action so “two senses of representation are being run together: representation as ‘speaking for,’ as in politics, and representation as ‘re-presentation,’ as in art or philosophy.” (70) Thus, she argues that a theoretician cannot represent (speak for) the oppressed group because s/he “is not seen as a representative consciousness (one re-presenting reality adequately).” (70) However, if Spivak thinks that Deleuze’s theory makes two kind of representation being run together, it is against Deleuze’s statement about “[t]here is no more representation […] but action.” (Deleuze as quoted by Spivak, 70)

Meanwhile, representation according to Marx as quoted by Spivak is divided into two forms: vertreten (‘represent’ in speaking for) and darstellen (‘represent’ in re-present). Spivak sees the representation of Marx’s appears in the class-consciousness and economy where “under capitalism, value, as produced in necessary and surplus labor, is computed as the representation/sign of objectified labor (which is rigorously distinguished from human activity).” (73) However, Spivak argues that we should consider the “double session of representations rather than reintroduce the individual subject through totalizing concepts of power and desire [also keep] the area of class practice on a second level of abstraction” (74) when we want to discuss Marx’s representation. Therefore, in my opinion, representation according to Marx as quoted by Spivak has a connection between “representation in the political context” (Vertretung) and “[r]epresentation in the economic context” (Darstellung) which later will be connected to power and ideology, as Spivak says that it is necessary to find the ideology.

When Spivak produces a new language of representation according to what she reads in Marx and Deleuze, Fredric Jameson, on the other hand, regards representation as the synonym of “figuration”. He argues that figuration/representation is “irrespective of the latter’s historical and ideological form” (348) and, therefore, it is contrary to Spivak’s idea that ideology is needed to be discussed. Furthermore, Jameson sees that all forms of aesthetic production consists of some gestures in which shows to a particular social, politics, and economy condition as the representation of the production itself. Although Jameson is a Marxist, he has a different way of analyzing work with Spivak in using Marx’s theory, as he admits that he “[is] not even sure how to imagine the kind of art [he] wants to propose.” (347) He, however, uses the term “play of figuration” to emphasize, “global realities are inaccessible to any individual subject or consciousness […] which is to say that those fundamental realities are somehow ultimately unrepresentable.” (350) Nevertheless, it is different with Spivak’s statement of representation as Jameson says that figures in literature can be found from the absent cause within it and, thus, critics can point down the connection in which it is designed as ultimate realities and experiences by those figure.

Work Cited

Barthes, Roland. Criticism and Truth. 1966. http://elearning-dev.unpad.ac.id/mod/resource/view.php?id=11361
Jameson, Fredric. “Cognitive Mapping”. Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture University of Illinois Press. 1990. http://elearning-dev.unpad.ac.id/mod/resource/view.php?id=11315
Spivak, Gayatri Chakravorty. “Can the Subaltern Speak?”.

Literature, Criticism, and Literary Criticism

What is literature? What is criticism? What is literary criticism? Those questions haunt me after reading Horace’s “The Art of Poetry”, Jameson’s “Cognitive Mapping” and Barthes “What is Criticism?” Before I read them, I never thought that those things are important to be known. However, I am now encouraged to know them all in Critical Theory class so that I will not analyze fictions or any other literary works carelessly. This new thing, on the other hand, becomes a Pandora box for me because every critic has his/her own thought about literature, criticism, and literary criticism.

In addressing to those questions, Horace says that literature is poetry and the theory followed is a guide to make a work which he considers right. This, I think, creates a limited perspective of literature and criticism especially in 21st century where literature is not only poetry. Thus, in regarding it, I only use Horace’s as a reference of literature without making it as my theoretical basis in analyzing literary works.

On the other hand, Fredric Jameson offers a new subject to the literary criticism which he calls cognitive mapping. He points that “the traditional formulations of the uses of work of art [have] virtually been eclipsed from contemporary criticism and theory” in regarding to Platonian and Horace’s. Therefore, he proposes a concept, which he takes the term from Darko Suvin, called the cognitive in which playing in the area of figuration. He says that an absent cause exists in literary works to “find figures” in the ways of symbol and distortion. Thus, it is the critics’ job to “track down and make conceptually available the ultimate realities and experiences designated by those figures” (350). Nevertheless, I still misunderstand what he tries to say about figures and how the “play of figuration” works in literature although he provides some example in his piece. What I can get from his piece is that it will be connected with social, politics, and economy of the literary works and some “(unrepresentable, imaginary) global social totality.”

Meanwhile, Barthes proposes that criticism produces meanings and “it gives a language to the particular discourse [pure parole] which reads literature and gives one voice [une parole] (among others) to the mythical language [langue] of which the work is made and with which science is concerned” (32). Here, Barthes also emphasizes the symbol of language in literary works which later will bring plurality of meanings to those who read it. However, he then says that “what controls the critic is not the meaning of the work, it is the meaning of what he says about it” (33). Therefore, I think what Barthes tries to describe in his piece is we should pay attention to the language we use in analyzing literary works because the object of symbolic criticism is language itself. Nonetheless, I hardly understand the term “anamorphosis” he uses in his piece that makes my interpretation of his theory probably wrong.

Work Cited

Barthes, Roland. Criticism and Truth. 1966. http://elearning-dev.unpad.ac.id/mod/resource/view.php?id=11361

Fredric, Jameson. “Cognitive Mapping”. Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture University of Illinois Press. 1990. http://elearning-dev.unpad.ac.id/mod/resource/view.php?id=11315

Horace. The Art of Poetry. http://elearning-dev.unpad.ac.id/mod/resource/view.php?id=11360

Fredric, Jameson. “Cognitive Mapping”. Marxism and the Interpretation of Culture University of Illinois Press. 1990. http://elearning-dev.unpad.ac.id/mod/resource/view.php?id=11315

Horace. The Art of Poetry. http://elearning-dev.unpad.ac.id/mod/resource/view.php?id=11360