Monday, March 20, 2006

Jake Kennedy: Poetry of the Revolution

Responding to the recent declarations of the diminished (or even utterly exhausted) umph of the so-called historical avant-gardes, Martin Puchner’s Poetry of the Revolution: Marx, Manifestos, and the Avant-Gardes is a brash counter-claim. More than just taking issue with the narrow historical categories of Peter Bürger’s and Perry Anderson’s respective scholarship (both of whom limit the avant-gardes’ function to the early twentieth century), Puchner’s book also constitutes a stirring defense of the political force of art. Thus what begins as a fascinating tracing of the genesis, international dissemination, and influence of the Communist Manifesto ultimately unfolds as a splendid new theory of experimental art.


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