Vicissitudes of the Aesthetic Ideas of Marx


  • Adolfo Sánchez Vázquez



Marxism, Media


Marx never wrote a treatise on aesthetics; nor did he deal extensively with any specific aesthetic problems. Nevertheless, as the various anthologies of his comments on art and literature show, he always took a keen interest in questions of aesthetics in general, and of art and literature in particular. In his philosophical and economic works, such as The Economic and Philosophic Manuscripts of 1844, Critique of Political Economy, Capital, Theories of Surplus Value, etc., we find ideas which have a direct bearing on such fundamental aesthetic and artistic problems as: art and work, the nature of aesthetics, the social and creative aspects of art, the social nature of the aesthetic experience, art as part of the ideological superstructure, the class origin and relative autonomy of a work of art, the uneven development of art and society, the relationship between art and reality, ideology and cognition, artistic creation and material production under capitalism, the durability of a work of art, etc.

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