marxist novels

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marxist novels

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1susan594
Set 18, 2009, 10:13am

A student has asked our library staff for novels and poetry which have a Marxist content. He has taken some of the David Roberts series, and "The Time Machine" by H.G.Wells. We also found poetry by Mayakovsky. Does anyone have other recommendations?

2theoria
Modificato: Set 18, 2009, 10:22am

You might suggest the drama of Bertolt Brecht.

3cgray140370
Set 21, 2009, 3:57am

How about "News from Nowhere" By William Morris

4daschaich
Set 23, 2009, 9:13am

The Iron Heel comes to mind, though I have some reservations.

5LolaWalser
Set 23, 2009, 10:09am

How the steel was tempered by Nicolai Ostrovsky is the quintessential novel of the new (Soviet) society built on Marxist principles. If one reads only one soc-realist propaganda classic, that should be it. Understanding "Marxist content" a bit flexibly as existing in something written by Marxists (also understood a bit flexibly), there are, for instance, the novels and poetry of Cesare Pavese, Lu Xun, Victor Serge, Louis Aragon, John Dos Passos, Upton Sinclair etc. (in general, Communist writers may be expected to adhere to Marxism; Marxists, however, need not be Communists... especially nowadays.)

It's also worth noting that Marxist reading of literature confers "Marxist content" on many works written long before Marx--this emphasises the interpretive nature of Marxism, as a tool for understanding history, over the restrictive programmatic applications.

6feigr
Set 26, 2009, 10:14pm

LolaWalser's statement that "Marxists, however, need not be Communists... especially nowadays" is all too true, unfortunately. Just look at people like Richard Wolff, the "Marxist" economist who claims with a straightface that Google is "socialist" because, well, the workplace there is less hierarchical than in other workplaces. There, a "Marxist" economist who isn't even a communist, but doesn't even understand Marx's conception of capitalism! So it goes for the rest of the Democratic professors who dabble in "Marxism."

At any rate, you might check out the sci-fi novels of Mack Reynolds. He was a member of the Socialist Labor Party in the U.S.. News from Nowhere by Morris, already mentioned, is undoubtedly the greatest Marxist novel of the 19th century. It's not the best piece of fiction, and maybe it's dated, but it's hard to imagine a novelist with a keener understanding of Marx and what communism means than Morris.

7WorkingClassAntiHero
Modificato: Ott 27, 2009, 1:14am

Walter B. Rideout's *The Radical Novel in the USA* (1956) gives a survey of American novels between 1900 and 1954 that use revolutionary Marxist frameworks and ideas. Also Barbara Foley's *Radical Representations* gives a similar survey of "proletarian literature" of the 1930s, again indebted to Marxist ideology. Alan Block's *Anonymous Toil* reconsiders the radical novel ala Rideout and tracks it into the 1970s. Some, if not all, of these books have bibliographies of novels that will mostly be using Marxist critiques.

Poetry-wise, Carey Nelson and Alan M. Wald have books examining poets on the Left from the 1930s.

8Doug1943
Modificato: Ott 28, 2009, 1:35am

The classic British novel, The Ragged-Trousered Philanthropists by Robert Tressell.

Bread and Wine and Fontamara by Ignazio Silone

John Dos Passos' trilogy, U.S.A..

Down the Long Table by Earle Birney (Canadian

Standing Fast, by Harvey Swados

Man's Fate by Andre Malraux and Haakon M. Chevalier

One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich by Alexander Solzhinitsin

The Case of Comrade Tulayev and Conquered City by Victor Serge

9marksoderstrom
Gen 1, 2010, 12:51am

Jack Conroy's "The Disinherited" would be a likely candidate. Conroy went onto to edit the "Anvil". Modern work might include, Ken MacLeod and current British Marxist SciFi writier or China Mieville whose novel "The Iron Council" is a reinterpretation of the Bolshevik revolution set in a fantastic world.

10abclaret
Mar 26, 2010, 4:24am

Alexander Cordell's trilogy The Rape of the Fair Country, Hosts of Rebecca and Songs of the Earth are set within Welsh Chartism.

I am surprised no one as mentioned Howard Fast whose credited for the movie version of Spartacus. And second/third comments of Perdido Street Station and Iron Heel

11JemmyHope
Mar 30, 2010, 6:33am

How about Sartre's "Roads to Freedom" trilogy? Was Sartre a Marxist?

12znalo
Apr 11, 2010, 5:41am

In addition to those already mentioned, it may be worth mentioning Pramoedya Ananta Toer's 'Buru Quartet' ('Awakenings', 'Child of all Nations', 'Footsteps', 'House of Glass').