Saturday, March 01, 2008

Karl Marx's Das Kapital

I was pleased to see a book from my own pantheon of greats lauded in this week’s instalment of the Globe and Mail’s “50 Greatest Books” series, and to see it described in terms that very much reflect my own experience of it. Here’s Francis Wheen on Karl Marx’s Das Kapital:

Though many who haven't read it assume that his unfinished masterpiece is an economic treatise, Marx himself regarded it as a work of art, breaking through the narrow conventions of political economy with a radical literary collage that juxtaposes voices and quotations from literature and mythology, from factory inspectors' reports and fairy tales. Das Kapital probably has as many allusions to Shakespeare as to Adam Smith. It mixes satire, melodrama, Gothic horror and reportage to do justice to the irresistible, yet mysterious, force that governs our material motives and interests.

To read Wheen’s case for Das Kapital in full, click here.

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