Friday, October 01, 2010

Feeling disinclined to read the New Left Review ...

... after perusing the ad for issue 64 on the back of the London Review of Books, more specifically, a passage from an article by Fredric Jameson on "Global Wagner":

In one of those paradoxical genealogies in which cultural history is so rich, it seems that we may trace Regieoper back to that East German cultural production which, in the almost universal obloquy of that state, has until recently been virtually ignored. But the theatrical practice of the GDR, from Brecht to opera, was in far more lineal continuity with Weimar traditions - Klemperer, the Kroll Opera - than that of provincial West German culture.

What is it with Anglo-American Marxists that - twenty years after the fall of the wall - they continue to cling to the by now seriously frayed fairy tale of East Germany as the sanctuary of intellectual innovation and aesthetic radicalism, heroically rising above the powerful (but provincial) other beyond the iron curtain?


mikeovswinton, cynic. said...

Is it because they didn't have to live there?

The Wife said...

Spot on, Mike! And for this astutely straightforward (or straightforwardly astute) solution to one of the humanities' great mysteries you will receive ... a Spezi.

We actually have one in the fridge.

Jameson _did_ study in Germany in the 1950s, but I don't know whether he ever ventured in what was then still merely the unfenced-in "Zone." And in fact I am just as disinclined to investigate the question whether he'd ever physically encountered real existing socialism as I am to reading the New Left Review. My hunch is that he didn't. And, man, does Thuringia look great from San Diego!

The Hon Mikeovswinton said...

A spezi! Excellent. For one awful minute I thought you were going to send me the latest New left Review.

Seriously though, where would one's butler have slept in one of those one bed room flats they used to have in People's Germany? Being an aristocratic Marxist is quite hard you know.