Social Scientist. v 8, no. 89-90 (Dec-Jan -1) p. 30.

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Realism in Marxism

MARXIAN perspective on realism develops in the indissoluble relationship between political demands and aesthetic concerns. Marxian aesthetics is not the result of abstract theoretical effort, but is the product of an on-going process, a process characterized by the contradictions between capitalism and socialism which, in its tendency, involves the revolutionary replacement of the capitalist mode of production by the socialist mode through the conscious intervention of the vanguard of the proletariat. This tendency exists irrespective of the concrete phase of the process or struggle we may witness or analyse. It is also independent of the stage we may be in, which may be a stage of transition. As Trager points out, the Marxian theory of realism is integrated with the problems of transition from capitalism to socialism. The centrality of this category is a result of the Marxian perspective of seeing literary or aesthetic production as an integral part of the system of production as a whole.1

Does aesthetic production support or contradict the struggle? Marx and Engels brought their sensibility to bear on this question— the function of art in the revolutionary process. Since Marx and Engels were concerned with the theory and practice of the historic role of the proletariat, they looked at and commented

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