Edmund Wilson

Thu Jun 22 19:37:41 MDT 1995


I'm reading Wilson's _To the Finland Station_ and am wondering what
y'all think of this work.  I was semi-enjoying the book until the
chapter on _Capital_ (ch. 15:  Marx as a Poet of Commodities) and I now
find myself pretty turned off by what I *think* is an unfair tossing off
of Marx for not being empirical enough.  (A criticism which is unfair to
the complexity of Marx's abstraction/analytics.)

ALso, WIlson *seems* to portray Marx as an unhappy byproduct of
capitalism who uses philosophy and economics (and morality!) to condemn
bourgeois power and self-satisfaction.  THis reads like Nietzschean
interpretation to me, which is fascinating, but in Wilson's book, only
serves to displace serious consideration of _Capital_ with
psycho-analytical speculation.

I dunno.  Several colleagues love this book, and I was wondering if I'm
getting it wrong, or if there is agreement with my disagreement.

Best regards,


Steve McDonald          mcdonalds at csusys.ctstateu.edu

Most of all beware, even in thought, of assuming the
sterile attitude of the spectator, for life is not a
spectacle, a sea of griefs is not a proscenium, and
a [person] who wails is not a dancing bear.  --A. Cesaire

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