Review - Enzo Traverso, Left-Wing Melancholia: Marxism, History, Memory

GOLDIE, Christopher (2020). Review - Enzo Traverso, Left-Wing Melancholia: Marxism, History, Memory. The Journal of International Relations, Peace Studies, and Development, 5 (1).

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    Abstract

    Enzo Traverso explores the melancholic dimension of left-wing culture both historically and as a form of understanding the present. His aim is to rethink the history of socialism and Marxism in order to recover hidden traces of “communist melancholy” (48). It is argued that communism was once lived through images of the fallen and memories of catastrophe, but within a dialectic encompassing both past defeat and hope for a future utopia; In the current era, however, this dialectic has been shattered and a socialist future has become unimaginable. Traverso argues that such a future can only be recovered through deeper forms of melancholy, an argument supported through the ideas of heterodox Marxists writing in the interwar period. The key argument is Walter Benjamin’s: that a melancholic embrace of “dead objects” is needed in order for the past to be redeemed and a future restored.

    Item Type: Article
    Additional Information: Online publication date taken from page source.
    SWORD Depositor: Symplectic Elements
    Depositing User: Symplectic Elements
    Date Deposited: 04 Feb 2021 15:09
    Last Modified: 04 Feb 2021 15:15
    URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/28081

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