Lenin was an organizer and fighter. Wilson begins the essay with the observation of Marx and his devout follower and collaborator, Engels, on the relationship of art and literature with society. Great classical literary works are not created as examples of bourgeois decay but as medium of great educational value. He said that both proletarian culture and proletarian literature would be dangerous things because they would incorrectly compress the culture of future into the narrow limits of the present day. Then Edmund Wilson refers to some of the responses of Marx and Engels to literature. But the new Marxist followers did not understand literature from this perspective.

So the periods of sudden and violent changes never help the writer for his literary creation. So the works created in different countries have no elements of Marxism. Trotsky said, had as yet communist culture, it had only a political culture. In , he started a work on the Russian Revolution— To the Finland station. Marx and Engels never considered art as a weapon of social change. Marxist thinkers argue that writers should use common language for the creation of literary work. Trotsky, who was a literary man, had to face many problems.

Lenin died, Trotsky was exiled. So the works created madxism different countries have no elements of Marxism. Indu C July 9, at 8: Lenin, Trotsky and Gorky worked sincerely to keep literature free. It is society itself, says Trotsky, which becomes the work of art under communism.

edmund wilsons essay marxism and literature

He was himself specified as an organizer and fighter. Feb 18, Marxism and Literature: Marxist thinkers, with the help of Trotsky try to find Marxist elements in the great classical works of other countries.


English Literature: Marxism and Literature: Edmund Wilson

When this work was in progress, Wilson became disillusioned with Marxism as it was preached and practised under the dictatorship of Stalin. But Lenin opposed it very strongly and told that art could be produced only by natural evolution. According to him the structural organizations of society evolves from the methods of production in the society and from these structural forms evolve higher activities such as politics, law, religion, philosophy, literature and art.

Marxist critics try to make literature as an effective tool in the class struggle. Marx ad to say that poets are originals and must be allowed to go their own way.

Edmund wilson’s essay marxism and literature summary

A Marxist cannot judge a work of art purely on the basis of its artistic value. Both Marx and Engels were susceptive to the emotional appeal of art and literature.

Madxism says that it is wrong because the country which has produced the Leaves of Grass and Huckleberry Finn has no influence of Marxism they were created during their pioneering periods. Anonymous February 21, at 9: With the death of Gorky, the last group of liberalism in literature was gone.

In works of highest order, the purpose is not a simple message but a complex vision of things which itself is not explicit but implicit. Marx and Engels never considered art as a weapon of social change.

Marxism can throw valuable light on the social origins and social significance of a work of art or literature. During the periods of intense artistic activity art influences economic and social organization out of which it grows.


Trotsky was a literary man as Lenin never was. He had to combat with problems which had not bothered Marx and Engels. Towards the conclusion, the author says that the democratic values—sympathy for the poor—is not the monopolies of Marxist alone.

edmund wilsons essay marxism and literature

Those who fail to realize this truth go wrong and are guilty of misinterpretation and misreading. They believed in the renaissance ideal of lirerature man, of his many sidedness, of the perfection which is achieved by the participation in varied activities.

They considered art as an independent activity.

edmund wilsons essay marxism and literature

Edmund Wilson was deeply influenced by Marxism. After telling everything about the Marxist literature, Edmund Wilson says that Marxism still remains as a great force in this marxiam. Relationship between Art and society Marxian principles. S than the period of the communist revolution. Weapon is not the right word for this.

But Lenin who occupied a central role in the Russian Revolution ofbelieved in such specialization. In great works of art is much more implied than what is explicitly stated. Then Edmund Wilson refers to some of the responses of Marx and Engels to literature.

These Marxist elements are attributed to it by Marxist thinkers for the purpose of developing their ideas or ideology.