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Subjects Archives: Literature

Friedrich Engels

Engels’ “theoretical moment”?

In Marx and Engels’ Collected Works volume 47, I found a very interesting letter written by Engels to August Bebel. It was written about a month and half after Marx’s death, April 30 1883. Bebel seems to have suggested Engels to move somewhere else in Europe. Engels’ justifications to continue staying in England is quite […]

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writers congress

The Popular Front Novel

I became interested in literary relationships with communism and anti-fascism when I was an undergraduate student. I was curious about how modernist writing, often thought to have peaked by the mid-1920s, was transformed by the rise of fascism and the coming of the Second World War.

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Nazi flag flies from Austrian legation in Washington, D.C. on March 12, 1938 (New York Public Library) .

How American racism shaped nazism

Depending on the reader’s perspective, Whitman’s central argument seems either modest or bold, as he claims, “What all this research unmistakably reveals is that the Nazis did find precedents and parallels and inspirations in the United States” (10). The most radical Nazis were often the most enthused about American legal precedents. More moderate, less anti-Semitic […]

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Prashad-Noward

Writing while socialist

With each workshop the broad outlines of socialist writing become clear to me. I am now able to better distinguish between capitalist writing—which typically emerges from the liberal, mainstream media and is intended to produce commodities—and socialist writing—which is intended to produce a confident community of struggle.

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White people; Viewing the Performance of 'The Merry Wives of Windsor’ in the Globe Theatre (1840) by David Scott. Photo courtesy the V&A Musuem

How ‘white people’ were invented by a playwright in 1613

The Jacobean playwright Thomas Middleton invented the concept of ‘white people’ on 29 October 1613, the date that his play The Triumphs of Truth was first performed. The phrase was first uttered by the character of an African king who looks out upon an English audience and declares: ‘I see amazement set upon the faces/Of […]

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All Exxon Mobile worries swept under the rug.

Slick maneuvers

Both ExxonMobil and the Wall Street Journal have been engaged in pretty slick maneuvers in order to protect their profits by failing to publish any opinions critical of ExxonMobil.

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James Baldwin

Forgetting to remember

It is a devastating fact that James Baldwin is our contemporary; so much so, that the matter of his relevance seems either pressing or redundant depending on to whom one speaks. Raoul Peck’s I Am Not Your Negro, a “cinematic séance” (The Guardian), is being taken as the completion of Baldwin’s unfinished Remember This House, […]

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