Fredric Jameson, in dialogue with his Brazilian translator Maria Elisa Cevasco, begins this interview by discussing his earliest influences: Jean-Paul Sartre, G. W. F. Hegel, Karl Marx, structuralism, dialectics, and psychoanalysis. Prompted by Cevasco, Jameson revisits his most famous categorical inventions: the political unconscious, transcoding, and cognitive mapping. Discussing the global situation today, he suggests that because of its location on the outside, a Third World power such as Brazil enjoys an epistemological advantage over the United States, which rarely thinks of its own outside and therefore has difficulties with cognitive mapping. The much needed counterweight to American power will have to come from the superior vantage point of such an outside position. Addressing the problematic of representation, the conjunction between art and politics, and the importance of periodization, Jameson describes his ongoing project: a grouping of books called “The Poetics of Social Forms.” This series actually culminates with his previous books Postmodernism and A Singular Modernity, and, as Jameson moves backward in time, will be preceded with three new volumes on realism, allegory, and myth. He describes his own cultural analysis as an attempt to uncover the contradictory situations that produced solutions in the form of culture, literature, art, philosophy, technology, politics, or history. He attributes the famous difficulty of his sentences to their trying to make connections among all kinds of problems, situations, or contradictions.

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