By Susan Willis
What occurs while a Marxist feminist is going to the grocery store? Why is Michael Jackson the essential expression of commodity tradition? In A Primer for way of life, Susan Willis places daily life and its artifacts on the middle of her research of capitalist tradition. Interrogating the that means of such daily goods as kid's toys, plastic packaging, banana decal emblems, and aerobics sessions, Willis investigates the phenomena of contemporary tradition and commodity fetishism. Grounded in Marxism and guided by means of feminism, A Primer for lifestyle goals to develop the sphere of cultural feedback to embody varieties and practices now not addressed via the media or media feedback. Willis demonstrates that the trivial is important for an figuring out of capitalist tradition and encourages the advance of a serious point of view on way of life.
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Additional info for A Primer For Daily Life
Our dilemma is how to reverse the blind rush of progress and turn ourselves around, like Benjamin’s description of the “Angelus Novus,” moving backwards into the future with eyes “fixedly contemplating” the past. Our problem is how to recognize moments of rupture in a cultural fabric that appears all too continuous. The following essay/montage represents an attempt to read culture by looking backwards into history. Hence, our present cultural moment, defined here by the supermarket, tells us something about a text produced in a previous historical context.
As he put it: Historicism contents itself with establishing a causal connection between various moments in history. But no fact that is a cause is for that very reason historical. It became historical posthumously, as it were, through events that may be separated from it by thousands of years. A historian who takes this as his point of departure stops telling the sequence of events like the beads of a rosary. Instead, he grasps the constellation which his own era has formed with a definite earlier one.
The mother’s coffin resting on a pair of saw-horses is for Darl a “cubistic bug,” while his perception of a horse, driver, and wagon merges to the point at which the horse appears to be wearing the driver’s hat. Darl’s way of seeing defines him more as artist than sharecropper, more visionary than aberrant. His arrest and incarceration brutally demonstrate that his alternative way of seeing has no place in the world defined at the conclusion of Faulkner’s novel. “Just what is this new world I have been alluding to, then, whose rural roots have passed away and whose artists are incarcerated?
A Primer For Daily Life by Susan Willis