“Le style c’est l’homme même.”

Of Karl Marx it might be said, to adapt slightly Rossini’s bon mot about Wagner, that he has his good lines but his bad pages. His good lines are inscribed forever on every reader’s mind, though whether there would have been many such readers had there been no Russian Revolution is perhaps doubtful. At any rate, he was, at his best, capable of memorable formulations.

In his short book Marx’s Literary Style, the Venezuelan poet and Marxist Ludovico Silva, who died in 1988 before the socialist experiment in his country got underway and reduced it to its current misery, examines Marx’s writings from the literary point of view and judges them...


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