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.
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?”.