The Literary Salon

A free salon wherein patrons and passers-by may view or contribute ideas on literary and generally intellectual matters. The blog will strive to maintain its commitment to wit, humour and perspicuous analysis.

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Location: Toronto, now Ottawa, Ont, Canada

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Ipse Dixit

A slightly more arcane post which should be appreciated by at least one of you.

Some Marxist critics, such as Terry Eagleton, tend to valorize privilege "marxist" messages--such as social commentary, etc-- in works of art over everything else. In fact, Mr. Eagleton, just when it looked as if he were getting saner, recently remarked that the last two centuries of English literature has produced only one work of great art: a play by Eugene O'Neil.

If that wasn't funny enough, here's the truly funny bit: the founders of Marxism, Marx and Engels, were notoriously reticent on the subject of art. In fact, they had nothing but good things to say about it since it was an autonomous sphere unrelated to the base/superstructure. The following, which consists of Engels's unedited, unexpurgated remarks to a now completely forgotten English novelist, words that would make Eagleton and his irk squirm:

[I am] far from finding fault with you for not having written a point-blank socialist novel....The more the opinions of the author remain hidden the better the work of art


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