The Language and Imagery of <em>Capital</em> (Volume I)

Authors

  • Adèle Geras

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.14452/MR-024-06-1972-10_3

Keywords:

Marxism, Media

Abstract

Capital, particularly the first volume, was referred to by Marx himself (in a letter to Engels dated August 5, 1865) as a "work of art." The truth of this assertion and of Marx's earlier claim that "it has the merit of making an artistic whole," is clear to anyone coming to the work for the first time, even if only in translation. It is therefore the more remarkable that Marx's artistic achievement has received so little critical attention. Franz Mehring wrote an article tracing the evolution of Marx's metaphors from those of earlier German writers, and in particular from Goethe; and Edmund Wilson, in a section of To the Finland Station ("The Poet of Commodities"), writes of his gifts as a satirist and of his "apocalyptic vision," but this is a short treatment rather than a detailed analysis. And yet, if Marx conceived the work as an artistic whole, justice demands that it be criticized as such.

Published

1972-11-03

Issue

Section

Articles