Mod-04 Lec-28 Marxist Literary Criticism

Mod-04 Lec-28 Marxist Literary Criticism



you welcome back to NPTEL the national program on technology enhanced learning as you are aware these lectures are being brought to you by the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Indian Institute of Science we are in module four of these series of lectures and you are aware that the fourth module is devoted entirely to literary criticism we have several schools of criticism here which we are going to talk about to discuss and we've already been through two of these and today the topic is Marxist literary criticism in the last two lectures we saw you know we looked at some of the important postulations okay given by classical literary criticism and by liberal humanism and we are now today moving into a very important if not the most important school of literary criticism which has had a rich tradition and a long history before we go to Marxist literary criticism proper it is very important for us to know what Marxism as an approach as an ideology well as a critical tool okay as an analytical tool entails right some of you we are sure are aware of the main postulates the main theoretical you say or it could say that the main propositions of Marxist literature of Marxist Marxism as a whole but let us at the beginning of today's lecture first look at what the main points in Marx r-right you are aware that the two most important figures in Marxism are Karl Marx and his collaborator Frederick Engels and you also aware that the most perhaps the most famous tree ties by them written by them is entitled the Communist Manifesto okay now what exactly is Marxism right or as an approach and I said as a tool as an analytical tool studying society politics okay philosophy literature right what are the most important things that we as students of language or literature or to know right so let's come to the first slide here generally their approach is known as historical materialism now we need to look at first at these two terms okay historical and materialism or history and Napa before we ask the important questions within historical materialism we need to know what materialism is okay materialism doesn't mean materialistic or somebody who you know somebody for whom material things or say luxury goods or consumer goods are you know are very dear or are you know somebody who lives a life that is known as a materialistic quote unquote materialistic life okay here it is different materialism is usually understood versus another term in philosophy namely idea lism okay now obviously I cannot go you know into detail about these but suffice it for us here to know that idealism is an approach is an is a school of thought is an ideology okay so to speak that looks you know or that considers the idea or the spirit okay as the most you know as a source okay source or whether it is life or the source of meaning or the source of our destinies okay the one of the most important proponents of idealism was the German philosopher GWF Hegel right Hegel believed in what is what he called the absolute spirit okay he believed in a platonic sort of way okay we we know that Plato believed in forms that are eternal and this world being only a mere reflection of those eternal forms right likewise Hegel believed in the idea that everything emanates from an eternal idea idea with a capital I okay idea and that we are a mere reflection of that eternal idea or God or absolute spirit right on the other hand materialism completely rejects the idea or you know the idea or uniforms or God or absolute spirit as the source of all life all meaning and all movement in history okay materialism holds that matter is supreme okay that all meaning all life or social arrangements are destiny so to speak now here by destiny I do not mean the way we understand destiny in you know preordained sort of a religious sort of ways that person is simply how our lives are going to work themselves out okay the source of all this is nutter more about that a while so suffice it for us to understand here at this stage simply with these two terms historical materialism that the source of all meaning the source of our life the source of our arrangement social economic political is matter and it has a historical you know it has a history behind it right the kind of lies that we are reading here today is a result of history looked at from a material sense okay so you understand what materialism is that it is not being materialistic in the sense of liking you know how fancy cars etc right so let's look at this slide here what would historical materialism seek to study historical materialism seeks to study things like the organization and structure of societies okay so it would ask questions like how our society is organized and structured and second how do these societies develop and change okay so in the first case is really the the structure and the organization of society and the second is Society in motion okay what leads to social change why do so sack societies change okay we know that societies do not remain the same social arrangements rules regulation norms etc okay the kind of lives that we need are you know these are never the same these change so Marxism true is histor you know historical materialist okay approach seeks to give us answers right so here we see in this slide that the structure of societies and the causes of change or society is the movement of societies okay the nature of their movement these are you know basically speaking these are the things that are sought to be understood by Marxism as a whole as you know we have not yet are moved into Marxist literary criticism next again the two two very important terms in Marxism okay so we know that we are we study socio-cultural change of structure organization change can we ask the question how why do societies change and what are the causes of social change right so marks health that among other things the forces of production okay those productive forces which contribute towards our making the production of our material lives right and the relations of production that is simulations or between you know or among people in the in the production process right among people are sorry are determined by or are related to so to speak to the forces of production okay these together we understand as what what they call what the what Marx called the mode of production that is every historical epoch is going to be characterized by a certain mode okay a certain mode of production okay certain mode of production or you could say a certain way of production right now let me give you a few examples what are these modes of production modes of production are as we know these are in a mat mat this really is a is it's it's it's interesting that Marxism is both the micro and the macro theory okay so if you look at history history is explained in Marxism as you know or marked by different ways of production production of what production of essentially our material lives right now examples here would be for instance ancient slavery in ancient slavery you had a certain way of production in feudalism you had a certain way of production where land was the most important factor and the relations of production essentially were you know maybe characterized by two sort of binary in a binary opposite social socialist straight our life for instance the landlord and on the other hand the tenon who works on the land and on the landlord's firm farm sorry okay now these are relations of production which are sort of corresponding to the to the mode of production that is there in the time so social changes explained as you know a crisis so to speak happening in in history okay during certain times when the forces of production are you know the forces of production are not sort of in sync with the relations of production okay when the forces of production are they develop it's such what are forces of production forces of production you know are different factors that go into the production process technology could be one science and technology for instance okay and these are the social organization is such that they the social relations of production act as as mark says act as change or fetters on the forces of production the forces of production eventually sort of are free of free themselves from the social relations of production and society moves into you know if you want to understand this the wondersin the source of why society changes okay is because the forces of production and relations of production are sort of at odds right and the forces of production you know sort of are free from the social relations or production and society moves on to another I poke okay then the the the next important terms are the base and the superstructure Marx argued that every in every society and every mode of production every epoch there is what we call we can have a two-tier almost an architectural sort of metaphor is used here a two-tier structure of you know answer of an infrastructural base okay and the superstructure the base if you look at the slide here the brace comprises again the forces of production and the relations of production okay the base is an economic base to put it very simply here of course the base is an economic base now Marx says that according to right this is very important according to the nature of the economic base there would arise corresponding super structural elements now in the superstructure he he said these are essentially to put it you know to use one term only for it is is these are cultural elements for instance corresponding to now remember we are using words like corresponding to okay yeah Marx never meant that these are deterministic that the base is completely going to determine okay he kept it or you know he gave it more space really and he understood the enormous complexity of the super structural elements okay so he says that these are determined by all these correspond to right the economic base and here we find the legal system for instance then a social a very important social institution like the family religion education and eventually our consciousness now when we study Marxist literary criticism what are we going to do where are we going to place the literary text it is obvious to us that the literary text would be in the superstructure my character okay the the the products art for instance the products of our consciousness right like art will also be related to the economic base at is the forces of production and the relations of production or what we may call the mode of production this is very important for us to understand before we go to study what Marxist literary criticism is okay again to quickly recapitulate Marxism studies or Marxism the aim of Marxism is sorry the organization and structure of society okay second to study how societies and why societies change how they develop from one a poke to another okay we call it historical materialism because we understand the past in in terms of our in relation to in very important relation to history or to the in or the present to history that is a present is always determined by history and you know we we do away with the idealist Hegelian way of looking at the idea is the most important source of everything and here the idea is replaced by matter so our material economic arrangements right give rise which is the base give rise to the super structural elements in our culture among among which we find art also or being a very important part okay so Marx lay great great importance on social consciousness right for instance as we will find later on he said that our consciousness does not determine you know a consciousness and or you know does not determine you know the kind of societies we have but with the kind of societies we have that eventually or that will always determine the kind of consciousness that we have here when we say consciousness we do not mean simply you know aware you know as being conscious or as being aware of things right we mean by consciousness here we mean really are everything a mental consciousness our emotional consciousness or intellectual consciousness our moral consciousness right so all all our norms or so-called virtues are so-called no evil aspects or you know everything that is part of our consciousness our ideas of good and bad ideas or for instance the best social and the best economic or the best political arrangement okay our ideas of the best literary takes for instance okay these are all to be understood in the term consciousness here it's not just being like I'm conscious or I'm aware of my surroundings you know sort of cognitive sort of me okay so let us read from this slide which will make this first point clear to us okay when we talk about historical materialism we have to remember these are these words from OC's ism okay that men make their own history but they do not make it just as they please they do not make it on the circumstances chosen by themselves but under circumstances directly found given and transmitted from the past the tradition of all the dead generations weighs like a nightmare on the brain of the living now we obviously these are beauties words are beautifully put this says that we there's no doubt we make our own history or we make our own destinies okay but the past plays a most important part in sort of the carving out of our destinies or of our histories now we are going to move into Marxist literary criticism proper and what I have done in this lecture is obviously there are several ways you know in which you can or we could talk about a Marxist literary criticism okay sometimes we can just refer to one book for instance Terrigal tools very important book on on Marxist literary criticism what I have done here however is I try you know try to bring to you some of the important formulations or comments and pronouncements on Marxist literary criticism from a couple of sources okay so in to enrich our understanding of Marxism and in that with that view in mind we have first a quotation from Plekhanov Wright who says that the social mentality of an age is conditioned by that ages social relations this is nowhere quite as evident as in the history of art and literature okay we talked about social relations of production just a while ago when we referred to the two very important terms the forces of production and the and the social relations of production in Marxism okay now this is how we move into literary criticism for Marxism and one of the better ways is to put it through Plekhanov for instance what does he say he says here that the social mentality of any age okay is conditioned or is determined by the social relations of that age right this is a point also when we saw when we talked about the you know the base and the superstructure okay the base now here Plekhanov lays more importance on the social relations of production he says as the social relations of production now again what is a social relations of production okay simply put for instance in a capitalist system okay the the worker right the worker and you know the owner of the means of production okay the capitalist that is a relation social relation of production okay the relation between or among workers that also is a relation of production which is determined by the way the production process is arranged it's very important okay and the economic mode of production that is all and the forces the nature of the forces or production even the degree of development of the forces of production okay now the social relations condition the kind of mentality now this mentality is also related to the word consciousness that we found a while ago okay so click on says that you know how are we to gauge how are we to understand the nature okay even the complexities of the social mentality of any age he says you you only need to look at the art particularly the literature okay of a certain period the literature of a certain period is more or less going to tell you about the social mentality of that particular epoch was like right now obviously it is not so simple as that you know the that the all the literary texts of a certain age is going to be reflective of its social relations it is of course far more complex and it should be so but if we have to theorize on the nature of the literary text in relation to the mentality social collective mentality of a particular period then we can safely say that the literature of a period okay shows us the social mentality in all again qualifying it okay in all its complexities in all its different hues right in all ways in all it's probable problem ethics okay of that arises from the social relations of that particular ebook and go back where does the social relation come from where do the social relations of a particular age come from they eventually come from the mode of production or the economic arrangement do you understand now in from this slide really what we have done is we have begun to relate the literary text to Marxist propositions or to Marx the statements to follow I hope this is this is an important point during important juncture in our lecture today right so we talked about historical materialism base and superstructure forces of production relations of production and we come to the we've come to the literary text as being you know as being a complex indicator so to speak or the social mentality that arises from the social relation and the economic relations of an age okay so this really is one of you know the part of theorizing of the literary text in relation to Marxism now we will go straight to a quotation from Karl Marx himself okay from the ground race now many say that Marx and also angles didn't really you know talk so much about military text about the tritscher okay whatever you find are more or less sort of sporadic there are collections on marx and engels on literature and art for instance okay but it is said that their their their main focus was not obviously the literary text but you know there are some brilliant insights that we get particularly from Karl Marx and Frederick Engels okay when you look at some way level whenever or wherever they do talk about literature art and its relation you know their relation to social relations and forces of production the modes of production we find some brilliant insights that are given which are then taken up by other scholars who who practice criticism or theory from a Marxist perspective one such quotation and something that is oft coated is from the injuries now let us read from here Marx asks this question is Achilles possible when powder and shot have been invented and is the Iliad possible at all when the printing press and even printing machines exist okay so here first we find that Marx is through you know asking these questions is actually making a statement okay that in a time when there was a printing machine and the printing press of epochs like the Iliad okay bye homework would not have been possible in a way what is he saying see sign the literary text and epic to the material realities of its time okay by contrasting it the material realities of the time of homework to the material realities of England for instance during the time of the printing press of the time of capstan she's proposing this that an epoch like The Iliad would not have been written in a time of the printing press you the time of the printing press is also the time of the beginning of you know the rise of the middle class okay the which is again important for the rise of the novel so the epic now takes a new form which is the novel in a time which is you know in a time which is very different okay not just you not just as you know not not from the point of view of the ideas that we're you know extend during the time but also from the point of view of the material conditions okay let's read this again is Achilles possible when powder and gunshot have been invented and is the Iliad possible at all when the printing press and even printing machines exist is it now he asks is it not inevitable that with the emergence of the press bar the singing and the telling and the muse sees that is the conditions necessary look at this the conditions necessary for epic poetry disappear in this question really he is giving us a statement that the way of the epic the nature of the epic okay is bound to disappear okay with the changes that are or with the disappearance of a certain material way of life do you understand okay sir singing the telling and the muse these cease to exist okay the these factors of the epic this cease to exist you know with the emergence of the press okay so now again this is yet another example of how material them how materialism is then in this sense understood as a source okay of what even are of even the genre right how what the changes in material lives can also change or in material conditions and also change this change is very Chandra of okay of literary text then it is often argued that you know with Marxism okay a way of writing which is a realist mode is deeply entwined right now Marxist and angles is demands on the artists now most of what I am reading here are is from Terry Eagleton okay Marxist and angles demands on the artists include truthfulness of depiction right almost the verisimilitude okay truthfulness of depiction a concrete historical approach to the events described and person ages with life and individual traits reflected typical aspects of the character and psychology of the class milieu to which they belong okay there so this is art not a mere reflection is not a simplistic reflection ISM but you know from a Marxist point of view we would expect right you would expect that the characters that are depicted in a novel for instance right which is again you know or which is again constrained by time and space you know where we know okay from which social milieu these characters come from at the time during which the time of the setting of the novel for instance okay Marx and Engels required or Marxism requires that the artists be faithful in his epic is this or hot depiction of the characters and says on the the the characters where even the individual right the individual Trey of individual characters have to correspond to a certain type that was you know that was characteristic of a certain time okay now let's quickly read this again marks and angles demands on the artists include truthfulness of depiction a concrete historical approach to the events described and person ages with live in in individual trades reflecting typical aspects of the character and psychology of the class milieu to which they belong the author of genuinely realistic works communicates his ideas to the reader not by didactic philosophizing right but by vivid images which affect the readers consciousness and feelings by their artistic expressiveness this word is very important here didactic there are many you know many scholars who are harsh a limited who are led who are anti-marxist or who do not who argue against Marxist literary criticism importantly by saying that Marxist literal Marxist literary criticism is didactic right so in the sense that it is as they say – eg illogical right that it is almost again propagandist but as Eagleton says Marx Marxist literary criticism expects right a that the artist when he or she is you know sketching his characters delineating events for instance a be true to the the actualities of those times okay and instant instead of philosophizing in a didactic order in a doctrinal fashion right would with vivid realist okay realist or realistic images like express their ideas or or you know I have the literary piece come out as an artistic expression okay which is far above the you know the the dialectic or moralizing philosophy that one would expect this is very important what what this also suggests that Marxist literary criticism was not looking for propagandist kind of literature it only asks that then there be a connection okay there will be not simply a connection but there will be a faithful you know depiction of the time and the types of characters that that were or are there in a particular in a particular stretch of time or space now let me code from yahoos okay his essay literary history as a challenge to literary theory because here he makes an important distinction he talks about Marxism by making an important distinction between another school of thought that you many of us are here are aware of that is a formalism particularly of the Russian school now he says that the formalist school needs the reader only as a perceiving subject right who follows the directions in the text in order to perceive its form or discover its techniques or of procedure as you know for was enormously important in Russian formalism that is by the word formalism right form and he says that it is only enough for the reader to kind of discover you know the techniques or the formal aspects take joy and pleasure in sort of unraveling the you know identifying the formalists nature of you know formulas elements in a text okay it assumes that the reader has the theoretical knowledge of a philologist sufficiently versed in the tools of literature to be able to reflect on them so you one expects that the reader should be in formalism should be well acquainted with you know the various tools Analia tools of an alley of analyzing literary texts and should be able to discover so to speak the beauty of the formal elements on the other hand he says the Marxist school on the other hand actually equates the spontaneous experience this is important okay we're here the reader is assumed to be you know as this is sufficiently well versed or well trained you can understanding the literary text but on the other hand he says on the Marxist school actually equates to look at this word you the spontaneous experience of the reader with the scholarly interest of historical materialism now by spontaneous we are not stopping and simply spontaneously experiencing literary text okay along with one spontaneous response to a literary text one also expects the reader to bring in his or her scholarly interest of historical materialism which again is read which seeks to discover relationships between others is most important discover here you discover the form okay or the technique and take sort of you know or take pleasure out of this guy in this car you know discovering the you know the nuances of technique and procedure on the other hand in the Marxist you know approach what we do is we see we discover not the formal elements but let's look at this here seeks to discover the relationships okay relationship between the economic basis of production and the literary work as part of the intellectual superstructure this I need you to really look at very carefully because it's really I what in the answers words you you know it's because really I think he strikes the right code okay by saying that it is there is not that Marxist literary criticism engages itself only with kind of an archival work or almost you could say anarchic even an architectural sort of work where you are trying to dig out history and trying to make you know a correlations between the text and you know the or the text position in his in space and time says no there is great joy this great spontaneity of the reader and when the reader is equipped right with understanding the historical realities of the text then the pleasure or the so-called read-only pleasure of in order reading a text comes in you this says the relationship here between the economic basis of a particular age of you know and in this production process and the literary work as remember the part of the part of what part of the consciousness the cultural consciousness of a time or what he calls here the intellectual part of the intellectual production of the superstructure okay this is very important for us to understand again who are the three scholars we saw here ape-like enough a of course Marx himself when he asks the question right would the Iliad have been possible okay or why on the other hand why is an epic not the most important genera dealing safe or do you say the say 18th century England right it is because the material conditions have changed okay second we looked at Yogi Plekhanov who said that the social mentality of an age is related to its social relations okay and we also know that the social relations are related to the forces of production the economic arrangements and he claimed that nowhere is this relation most well you know sort of demonstrated then in the art and literature of a time okay then we found the through Terry Eagleton when he talks you know when he talks about the literary text here when he talks about he talks about realism okay and he talks about the importance or even the expectation in Marxist literary criticism that there has there should be you know a faithful depiction of of characters you know of setting right according to the historical time in which the Texas set then we came to Yahoo talks about who compares Marxist literary criticism and the formulas school and says that where as in the formalist school we we try to unravel you know we try to get pleasure you know in the reading process by unraveling the formal structures of the text okay by unraveling you know the procedures that have been used okay in contrast to that in in Marxist literary criticism we have you know the spontaneous reading of the text tied to an understanding of the historical realities of that text and understanding it takes a writer as you know part of the super structural elements of any age okay as it says here to discover the relationship between the economic base of production and the literary work as part of the intellectual superstructure okay these are immensely important formulations I would really say these are the core formulations that those of you who are beginning Marxist literary criticism we know this lecture is really a basic level lecture in a basic level course okay that has been designed for students particularly in engineering colleges who have their first exposure to to language and literature okay it is important for us to understand this systematically right to to find out what Marxism says a about society okay about social change in organization and B where the literary text lies as far as more eita Marxist framework is concerned what according to them is the function of the literary text and and secondly you know how is a reader to approach a literary text how is the reader to understand or perceive a literary text and we saw this in contrast to the formulas school okay then coming back to Terry Eagleton and again quoting from Marxism and literary criticism Eagleton says are the literature where part of the very air Mark's bleeded as a formatively cultured German intellectual in the great classical tradition of his society right Marx in fact some of you may not know Marx also had written poetry right and he had he had great he had great admiration for you know for the greatest of the writers like Shakespeare for instance and if you read Das Kapital and then some of his other works you'll be surprised to find this gives me the literary allusions that we find in in stakes we find your evidence of absolutely fine mind who was not simply looking only you know you know only to make some theoretical formulations on economics on culture on you know culture in the sense of the material lives that we lead but we find here a person who was also you know also so well versed in literature and some of his writings really read we like saw in the example from Bruner is really you know read so read so beautifully when we look at them from an aesthetic point of view now Eagleton therefore says in art and literature it describes the milieu okay in which Marx was writing art in literature were part of the very air Marx breathe it as a formidable cultured German intellectual in the great classical tradition of his society his acquaintance with literature from Sophocles to the Spanish novel Lucretius to pour boiling English fiction was staggering in its scope the German workers circle he founded in Brussels devoted an evening a week to discussing the arts and Marx himself was an inveterate theatre gol de claimer of poetry devourer of every species of literary art from Augustine prose to industrial ballets okay this is Eagleton giving us the background of how Marx was also steeped among other things in literature right then we come to a million Trotsky here because here we find you know how should I put a variant of Marxist literary criticism that was you know that many field was deeply deeply polemical almost so to speak you know propagandists right so what I want to do here is it you know bring to you what bring to you what Trotsky Trotsky kind of argued for okay in his seminal book literature and revolution published in 1924 okay so this kind of Trotsky's variant of Marxist literary criticism comes in for quite some flack from you know people who are who do not really follow the Marxist school of thought now let's look at this slide here Trotsky literature and revelation says that you know when one practices literary criticism one needs to one needs to lay focus on not you know the formal aspects not on you know the didactic aspects of the philosophy in the philosophy in they are not on the so-called spiritual aspects okay over text he says that our job is to be polemical right to to be problematic okay to to be interventionist so that when we perform literary criticism on a text right we are not simply looking at certainly not just a description of what the text is saying we are not looking at as formal aspects we need to be intervention as a literary critic needs to intervene in the text in order to show and the inequalities that are there in society okay in order to foreground the exploitation that is there in hence called polemical or interventionist so it says it look at the slide again literary criticism should be polemical should be interventionist or the literary critique should eventually help in giving shape to to through cultural policy ok the social policy and one should declare this is very important with Trotsky and one should declare what one stands on art and sorry culture is one should also declares one declare one's intellectual position right so truss key here was very clear on the job so to speak or the function of a writer also of a critic so jóska says that cultures feeds on the SAP of economics and the material surplus is necessary so that culture may grow develop and become subtle he says in the social roots and the social function of literature that our Marxists conception of the objective social dependence and social utility of art when translated into the language of politics does not at all mean a desire to dominate art by means of decrees and orders ok here is Trotsky seeking to defend ok his view of what Marx Omaha Marxist criticism ought to be like ok he says we just because we want to study the objective social dependence and the social utility of art doesn't make doesn't mean that it is propagandist right so we will stop here indeed there's so much else to talk about I could only bring just a few critics here a we book should have also looked at lukkage and history of the novel and we could have also looked at some of you know the way in which some of the text may be looked at from an actual text would have been decoded from a Marxist perspective what I wanted to do is first to bring to you some of the very core very elementary things that we should know about Marxism because you cannot go straight to Marxist literary criticism without knowing what Marx had to say about society about the organization structural Society endo and why you know social in the social change happens in the first place and we therefore saw well what let me let me now you know pull some questions right so that we can we do this recap by low posing some questions for instance if I asked you a question like this how how did Marx okay look at social structure and social change how are we going to answer that question okay one of the ways in which to answer obviously especially obviously is to say that Marxism is an approach which is historical which is materialist then he going to say the importance talk about the importance of history in Marxism in my general in Marx's general theory in particular and we say that the source the source of meaning the source of understanding a literary text the source of our social lives are our cultural arrangements the source of the kind of the nature of our social relations that we have and eventually the source of the literary text is not you know is not something that is you know that is there is outside of the material world that we live in the source is not the idea okay we have to go beyond the idea and and say that our social consciousness our literary consciousness comes from netdom that is the most important thing matter in the sense of the way our material lives are arranged right the way ways in which the economic base works right the rules and regulations which determine the production the distribution and consumption of material goods that leads to a we understood a superstructure right that base leads to a superstructure and that superstructure is condition though of course in very complex ways okay by the economic base and what was what is entailed in the superstructure in the superstructure a font are entail social institutions like the family like religion okay like education and consciousness art literature okay second if you know we we if we ask on how how is sort of how is the literary text the social mentality of an age and third the social relations of a niche how are these related okay then we take recourse to Plekhanov swirl overthrow ensues and we say that Marxist literary text looks at the social mentality or mass of literary criticism looks at the social mentality of an age as being best demonstrated or indicated so to speak by art and literature art and literature are the best best vehicles so to speak okay of the social mentality of an age now that social mentality is again related to the social relations of productions that are there at a certain given point of time and finally the social relations are production are determined by by what the way the economic arrangement is done in society do you follow okay then next we may ask a question like or what is you know we can ask what is you know the mode of writing that is most conducive so to speak to Marxist literary criticism or that is expected from a writer and we say that the realist mode is the mode of writing that is almost conducive to an artist according to Marxist literary criticism and realist mode demands this from an artist that he or she does not sort of go away from the type okay the type of characters that are conceived possible in a certain age or in a certain given a socio cultural milieu right we cannot move away from that if we have to be faithful to our depiction you know or in a depiction of characters and setting the setting should also reflect so to speak okay in however problematic and complex away should be reflective of the actual material conditions that were exempt in that time okay so this is demanded from the and in this case it is really perhaps the realist novel the rail is novel that you know is the best example are of what Marxist literary criticism expects a writer to do right so we that was one and we also remember mark saying in the Bruner is that the epoch is not sort of possible okay of course one can self-consciously write you know take our say that well I'm in the 21st century and I'm going to write an epic we're not talking about that the epic is in a different sense not possible in a time where for instance there is a printing press and where material conditions are very different from say ancient Greek in Greece for instance okay and then in there we saw he said that the Iliad is not possible you know the characters like Achilles are not possible in a time when the material conditions are very different okay it's very important for us you know there are many critiques on what of what is called the vulgar school of Marxist criticism in the sense that in a sense that one always expects okay one always expects a propagandist kind of writing while always you know for instance a worker is you know the worker is shown to be to be in a very simplistic the finest of characters whereas the for instance of the capitalist is shown to be the way the characters are not flesh so they are no complexities that's a vulgar kind of Marxist criticism that many have passed lightly so attack okay we also looked at Trotsky and literature in revolution one of you know the classic pieces in Marxist literary criticism and one that has been attacked also a lot by by scholars who are against as Marxist literary criticism by pointing to the fact that he always asked for interventionist in an intervention is mode by the literary critic and by the artist F or Paulo makes for you know eventually shaping cultural policy right but Trotsky himself says that well just because we want to find out the oh we know you know and scientific systematic objective we want to carry out an objective inquiry through the literal text into the socio-cultural relations of production into the economic base doesn't mean that we are doing it in a doctrinaire sort of way right so there is the perhaps sought a balance between you know the pleasure of reading a text for its own sake and of course bringing in social change by showing the the way the text willingly or unwillingly okay reveals the social inequalities and the realities of exploitation of a certain age okay so these are some of the questions that are important that may come up well they need so much else to talk about as far as Marxist literary concerns it to a sorry criticism is concerned but stay with this okay it's enough for us at this juncture to simply look at these these important points this will say foundational points that we have raised in our lecture and in the next lecture we shall move on with another school of criticism thank you for now see you next time Oh

6 thoughts on “Mod-04 Lec-28 Marxist Literary Criticism

  1. Mam its a humble request is plz tell us in a simple langauge whete common person can understand.thank you.

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