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How Class Is Represented in Literature

The Marxian Imagination: Representing Class in Literature by Julian Markels (Delhi: Aakar Books), 2012; first published by Monthly Review Press, 2003; pp 160, Rs 395.

Markels’  sharply conceived and tersely written  offering, although unambitious in volume, without damage to quality of achievement,  must be read as a very considerable contribution both to fresh enunciation of the nature and content of  “class” within general Marxian social theory, and thereafter to Marxian literary criticism.

He takes his cue adroitly from Lionel Trilling’s influential The Liberal Imagination wherein that doyen of American liberal critics had argued for an aesthetic, cultural, and political project fully to explore the reach and possibility of the imagination that first conceived of those ideas of becoming that are historically rooted in the work of the French Encyclopaedists of the 18th century.

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