Essays on Science Fiction, Globalization, and Utopia
Chapter Two: If Everything Means Something Else: Technology, Allegory, and Events in Roadside Picnic and Stalker
| 67 →
If Everything Means Something Else: Technology, Allegory, and Events in Roadside Picnic and Stalker
My title for this chapter comes from a passage early in Fredric Jameson’s The Geopolitical Aesthetic: Cinema and Space in the World System (1992), one of his first and still most significant interventions in the debates concerning the phenomenon that would soon more popularly be referred to as globalization.1 Jameson writes, “If everything means something else, then so does technology” (11). What Jameson is referring to here is the allegorical investments of any figure of technology, which in and of themselves, like the figures of nature they seem to displace, are devoid of significance. Of course, allegory itself is one such figure of technology, and as Jonathan Culler points out, the opposition of allegory and symbol, like that of fancy and imagination, served for Coleridge precisely as one way of coding the increasingly charged opposition of technology and nature (Culler, “Literary History” 263).
Jameson’s claim functions as another one of his productive axioms, the unfalsifiable “all” statements that are at the basis of any significant theoretical intervention: that is, our point of departure is the absolute presupposition that all figures of technology, and especially those found in science fiction, mean something else. This axiom also refers back to a similar proposition advanced in Jameson’s earlier landmark analysis of contemporary culture, the 1984 essay “Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism.” In this essay, Jameson...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.