Tuesday, January 09, 2007

End of the world

I recently came across a familiar sentence from Frederic Jameson, I cant remember where, which has been on my mind quite a bit. Frustratingly I couldn’t place it, so tried an interweb search. I typed in: easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. This turned up an endless list of hits, which generally seemed reluctant to actually cite the reference completely. One hit actually ascribed the term to Slavoj Zizek. If this is true, then the hairy fool has added plagiarism to his list of intellectual iniquities. Eventually I found a reference to a book of essays: The Seeds of Time. I don’t have this, so I checked my copy of another collection – The Cultural Turn. It turns out that the line comes from an essay called ‘The Antinomies of Postmodernism’, which is in both books. And it is slightly different in its actual configuration: “It seems easier for us today to imagine the thoroughgoing deterioration of the earth and of nature than the breakdown of late capitalism; and perhaps that is due to some weakness in our imagination.” (The Cultural Turn, Verso, London and New York 1998 .p50)