Literature and Revolution [First Edition]
Literature and Revolution, written by the founder and commander of the Red Army, Leon Trotsky, in 1924 and first published in 1925, represents a compilation of essays that Trotsky drafted during the summers of 1922 and 1923.
This book is a classic work of literary criticism from the Marxist standpoint. By discussing the various literary trends that were around in Russia between the revolutions of 1905 and 1917, Trotsky analyses the concrete forces in society, both progressive as well as reactionary, that helped shape the consciousness of writers at the time.
In the book, Trotsky also explains that since the dawn of civilisation art had always borne the stamp of the ruling class and was primarily a vehicle that expressed its tastes and its sensibilities.
“It is difficult to predict the extent of self-government which the man of the future may reach or the heights to which he may carry his technique. Social construction and psycho-physical self-education will become two aspects of one and the same process. All the arts—literature, drama, painting, music and architecture will lend this process beautiful form. More correctly, the shell in which the cultural construction and self-education of Communist man will be enclosed, will develop all the vital elements of contemporary art to the highest point. Man will become immeasurably stronger, wiser and subtler; his body will become more harmonized, his movements more rhythmic, his voice more musical. The forms of life will become dynamically dramatic. The average human type will rise to the heights of an Aristotle, a Goethe, or a Marx. And above this ridge new peaks will rise.”—Leon Trotsky
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CHAPTER TWOTHE LITERARY FELLOWTRAVELERS
AND MARXISM 85
CHAPTER SIXPROLETARIAN CULTURE
CHAPTER SEVENCOMMUNIST POLICY TOWARD
CHAPTER EIGHTREVOLUTIONARY AND SOCIALIST
REQUEST FROM THE PUBLISHER 132
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accept aesthetics Alexander Blok anthroposophy artistic become Belinsky Biely Biely’s Blok Blok’s Bolsheviks bourgeois bourgeoisie Changing Landmarks character Chukovsky Communist consciousness contradictions course created creative dynamics economic elements émigrés entirely epoch essence expression fact feel fellow travelers Formalist Formalist school Futurism Futurists hand historic images Imagists individual inner intelligentsia Ivan Kliuev language Leonid Andreyev Lezhnev literary literature living Marxism masses master Mayakovsky means methods moods movement mystic non-October October October Revolution one’s organic Party past peasant period Petrograd philosophy Pilnyak poem poetic poetry point of view political proletarian culture proletarian poets Proletkult psychological Pugachev question reflected Revolution revolutionary rhythm Rozanov Russia Russian Futurism sense Serapion Fraternity Shklovsky significant social Socialist society soul Soviet spiritual Stenka Razin struggle style technique theme thing thought true turn verbal Vsevolod Ivanov whole words workers write Yessenin