Extrapolation

AGASH AGASP AGAPE: The Weaver as Immanent Utopian Impulse in China Miéville's Perdido Street Station and Iron Council

Extrapolation (2009), 50, (2), 239–257.

Abstract

Via the optimistic hermeneutic of Ernst Bloch, from whom Fredric Jameson and Carl Freedman often borrow, this essay argues that China Miéville's giant theophanic spider, known as the Weaver in Bas-Lag, represents the utopian impulse and the nourishing of revolutionary consciousness, inclusive of emotion as well as of cognition. Pace Jameson and Freedman (but in dialogic hope), the Weaver's immanent jouissance questions the hegemonic Marxist insistence that only rational explanations and representations of utopian failure at the level of content—socialist yearning at the level of form—can compel us to imagine alternatives to capitalism. Indeed, the Weaver, whose language is that of dream-poetics, intimates and anticipates, in content and in form, a shift from a rational Marxist praxis to an irrational Marxist praxis

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Rankin, Sandy