Reading Marx Writing: Melodrama, the Market, and the `Grundrisse'

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Reading Marx Writing uses the eight notebooks (the Grundrisse) Marx worked on in 1857-58 to examine his literary, political, and scientific imagination. By exploring the Grundrisse, the project or plan that Marx did not carry through, the author speculates on the limits and possibilities of Marx's interpretive approach for addressing current issues in philosophy and hermeneutics, critical sociology, political economy, aesthetics and literary criticism. The study employs certain literary works - notably a scene from Goethe's Faust and several stories from Balzac's Come;die humaine - as looking-glasses or sounding boards for Marx's political and scientific concerns and to connect themes emerging from the cultural economy of the nineteenth century. Using an innovative blend of German critical theory, French post-structuralism and Anglo-American cultural criticism, the author develops a unique method for articulating the play of image, text, and even music within Marx's human scientific discourse.