Saturday, June 5, 2010

My love of Marx?

We all got the email about the books and the recommended reading to prepare for discussion this summer. I must admit that I am intimidated by the reading. You see, although Marx is a cool guy, I haven't read much of his work.

I know, you're probably getting embarrassed for me right now. Imagine how I feel. Before you write me a lecture on to the importance of his theories, you should know that I have tried to remedy my ignorance--without success. Obviously it's important stuff and it is evident that we will be discussing capitalism at the seminar. I understand.

Let me try to explain the situation. A strange thing happens when I start to read Marx. I will sit down with the text, plenty of time and optimism. At first, the reading seems normal. The words I come across register in my mind, as usual. They are not foreign, they make sense. Sure, but very soon, about a page and half into it, I enter this weird zone where the ideas and concepts pile up inside my brain, filling my head with dizziness and I loose all sense of what the hell it is I'm reading. It's like the bermuda triangle of philosophy. Now that I think about it, I have noticed a similar phenomenon when I read Joyce.

I really wish it wasn't the case but Ulysses and Das Kapital are my kryptonite! I fear the reading might require that I re-visit my old nemesis. Marx has a lot of foes but in this case it's not a result of his critique, I promise. I haven't read the guy enough to disagree with him. Alright, the excitement about tackling the reading for the Summer is tempered by me feeling a bit out of my league. I only hope the volunteer at Left Hand Books is still the guy that can go on for hours about our friend Chalie Marx. Yes, I have nicknamed Karl. I'm hoping it will endear him to me and that this will make reading his work more exciting.


  1. Hey, can I suggest the free online companion lectures to Marx, from David Harvey, available here:

    They're super-useful!

  2. Please do! I'm hoping that they will post on the blog. We will see. Thank you, Jane.

  3. Oh -- what I was referring to was about 13 sessions of a seminar taught be the terrific scholar/geographer Harvey, which one can download/stream from that website, which are designed as companions to reading Capital. So I fear they won't come to us, but we can go to them for free, which is a bargain.

  4. Hi Skooler,

    You can also find a fairly good genealogy of Marxist philosophy here. I believe that Juliana and Joshua are somewhat influenced by the "anarchist" strain, though this is probably a gross overgeneralization.