Re: RARA-AVIS: Marxist art and solutions

Date: 06 Sep 2006

Juri wote:

"I want to point out once more that to be Marxist a piece of art (novel, film, etc.) doesn't have to point out solutions to social problems the piece of art is addressing. . . . So, a book like RED HARVEST can be discussed in Marxist terms. It doesn't have to have a political agenda to it."

Mickey Spillane could be discussed in Marxist terms. There's a huge difference between "discussing in Marxist terms" and claiming something is a Marxist work. While Red Harvest certainly contains a critique that could be conceived of as Marxist, that does not mean Hammett wrote a Marxist, or even a proto-Marxist, work.

Any book can be discussed in terms of any literary or social theory, but to say it is a work within a particular theory implies an agency and intent on the part of the creator, not just the critic. I've been largely on your side in saying that Al can't possibly be as removed from his own social situation as he claims. We are rejecting the romantic notion that a work of art is a unique creation by a unique individual and asserting that both the author and the work (and editors, publishers, readers, etc) are each members of numerous fields of production of meaning, both in creation and reception. However, I would never presume to tell Al his intent.


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This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : 06 Sep 2006 EDT