Utopian and Science Fictions at the "Fin de Siècle"
Chapter 5The Bellamy Library: William Reeves and Radical Publishing 121
Chapter 5 The Bellamy Library: William Reeves and Radical Publishing Dreams are no longer summoned with closed eye, but in reading […]. The imaginary is not formed in opposition to reality as its denial or com- pensation; it grows among signs, from book to book, in the interstice of repetitions and commentaries; it is born and takes shape in the interval between books. It is a phenomenon of the library. — Michel Foucault, ‘Fantasia of the Library’ I Early in 1845, Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels plotted to publish a series of books – ‘the best French and English works on the subject of Social Reform’ – which would help them to cement the political commitment of those ‘who yet cannot make up their minds to go the whole length of the Community system’.1 Marx sketched a plan for what he christened ‘The Library of the Best Foreign Socialist Writers’, compiling a catholic list of authors, from Bentham and Godwin to Owen, and from Babeuf to Saint-Simon and Fourier.2 Engels translated ‘A Fragment of Fourier’s on Trade’ as a first contribution to the Library. The project itself, which ran 1 Friedrich Engels, ‘Rapid Progress of Communism in Germany’, in Karl Marx and Frederick Engels, Collected Works, Vol. 4 (London: Lawrence & Wishart, 1975), 241. 2 See Karl Marx, ‘Plan of the “Library of the Best Foreign Socialist Writers”’, in Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels, Collected Works, Vol. 4, 667. 122 Chapter 5 into publishing dif ficulties, was however never realized. It remained a mere...
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