Review of Forecasts of the Past
Forecasts of the Past: Globalisation, History, Realism, Utopia by Dougal McNeill is reviewed on the Socialist Alternative website. Click here for the review.
Whatever happened to realism? What form is adequate to representing our moment, situated as we are after the end of ‘the end of History’? In the face of youth revolts and workers’ insurgencies from Cairo to London, it seems a good time to test the possibilities of alternative Marxist defences of contemporary realist fiction. Can realism’s techniques adequately represent the complexity of contemporary political organisation? This book reads key realist texts from recent decades in order to test their potential to produce the knowledge of history, industrial politics and the metropolis traditionally central to literary realism’s concerns. Positioning himself within and against the inspiration and models of Fredric Jameson’s literary theory, and drawing on innovative realist texts, the author seeks to draw the classic realism controversies of an earlier period in historical materialism into productive conversation with the debates framing the era of austerity.
Dougal McNeill teaches postcolonial literature and science fiction in the School of English, Film, Theatre and Media Studies at Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand. He has published on Scottish literature, Marxist theory and literary imaginings of Japan, and is the author of The Many Lives of Galileo (2005).