ideasCraig Stroupe | Associate Professor of Information Design | Department of Writng Studies | 1201 Ordean Court # 420 | University of Minnesota Duluth | Duluth, MN 55812 | 218-726-6249 | fax 218-726-6882 | cstroupe@d.umn.edu

History

In The Political Unconscious, literary and cultural theorist Fredric Jameson writes,

History is therefore the experience of Necessity, and it is this alone which can forestall its thematization or reification as a mere object of representation or as one master code among many others. Necessity is not in that sense a type of content, but rather the inexorable form of events.... Conceived in his sense, History is what hurts, it is what refuses desire and sets inexorable limits to individual as well as collective praxis, which its "ruses" turn into grisly and ironic reversals of their overt intention. But this History can be apprehended only through its effects, and never directly as some reified force. This is indeed the ultimate sense in which History as ground and untranscendable horizon needs no particular theoretical justification: we may be sure that its alienating necessities will not forget us, however much we might prefer to ignore them. (102)

Jameson, Fredric, The Political Unconscious: Narrative as Socially Symbolic Act. New York: Cornell UP, 1981.