Cloth $67.00 ISBN: 9780226893556 Published April 1999 For sale in North America only
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226893563 Published April 1999 For sale in North America only

Icons of the Left

Benjamin and Eisenstein, Picasso and Kafka after the Fall of Communism

Otto Karl Werckmeister

Icons of the Left
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Otto Karl Werckmeister

196 pages | 5 halftones | 6 x 9 | © 1999
Cloth $67.00 ISBN: 9780226893556 Published April 1999 For sale in North America only
Paper $30.00 ISBN: 9780226893563 Published April 1999 For sale in North America only
In his new book, art historian O. K. Werckmeister advances a critique of Marxist culture in capitalist society.
Focusing on some of the most celebrated instances of traditional "Western Marxism," Werckmeister shows how such "icons of the Left" have been progressively detached from their political roots in communist activism to the safe distance of utopian or revolutionary speculations. He assesses some recent critiques of "Western Marxism" in popular culture such as Soderbergh's film Kafka, pointing out the historic fallacies that underlie such wholesale repudiations. With this analysis, Werckmeister seeks to clear the ground for a coherent cultural policy of the Left that responds to the continuing crisis of society.

Contents
Introduction: A Time for Revision
1. Walter Benjamin's Angel of History, or the Transfiguration of the Revolutionary into the Historian
2. Eisenstein's Battleship Potemkin Emerges from a Munich Underpass
3. Picasso's Guernica Returns to Germany
4. A Comic Strip about the Communist Reversal of History and Its Attendance Neuroses
5. Kafka
Conclusion
Notes
Previously Published Versions
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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