October 22, 2020:

I've learned only recently that Jameson had been a professor at UCSD at roughly the times I was first present there.

Indeed, he founded the Marxist Literary Group on that campus in 1969, five years ish before I squatted in the dorms, seven years before I was a student. But, far as I know, I had no encounter with his influence, as I certainly did with Marcuse's.

At that time in that milieu, "Marxism" meant Marcuse, while "Marxist literary criticism" meant either Marcuse or Lukács. I don't remember hearing the name "Jameson". Far as I recall, my first encounter with Jameson was his article on Postmodernism in the New Left Review a decade later, by which time he was at UC Santa Cruz. In the '80s I associated him solely with that campus.

This seemingly surprising lacuna is, I expect, an artifact of my go-where-it-leads introduction to reading. My self-education was unsystematic, so that, as is still the case today, it was full of holes. In fact, I believe the only reason I found a Marcusan residuum at UCSD was because, without being conversant with his books, his name was familiar. He was current in the mainstream zeitgeist, a cultural figure in or at least known to the media; I could have learned his name from the TV news. I knew of him, so that when his name turned up on campus I recognized it. Jameson by contrast has never had a similarly popular resonance. For all I know I may have conversed or lunched with his Marxist grad students a hundred times over those years. I would not have been able to recognize them.

Perry Anderson was again the door of discovery. Passages From Antiquity to Feudalism won me to Marxism. That essay prepared the ground for Althusser, while his editorship of NLR introduced my peers and myself to the basic contours of Postmodernism, through its critical engagement with contemporary currents. But this was ten years in the future. From the early to the mid '70s in the UCSD milieu what I knew of Marxism was filtered through Marcuse, second or third or fourth hand, adulterated with large dollops of watered-down Psychoanalysis. Because of that, and because of Stalinism, there's no mystery why at that time I reject the old Moor with uncompromising furor.