Ontologies of the Present

I just finished reading Fredric Jameson’s A Singular Modernity: An Essay on the Ontology of the Present. Like a lot stuff that Jameson writes, this book is both fascinating and infuriatingly vague at key moments in its argument. This vagueness might be justified as a form of “dialectical” writing, which I enjoy at the level of style, but which I enjoy less when trying to diagram the book’s argument or figure out what claims Jameson will commit to. That said, the book’s last line is terrific. Jameson writes, basically anticipating and advertising his newest book (Archeologies of the Future), “We need to combine a Poundian mission to identify Utopian tendencies with a Benjaminian geography of their sources and a gauging of their pressure at what are not multiple sea levels. Ontologies of the present demand archeologies of the future, not forecasts of the past.” Cool.