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The Romantic Heritage of Marxism

A Study of East German Love Poetry


Boria Sax

This book traces the roots of East German poetry in the tradition of German Romanticism. In the initial chapters, it examines the way in which Romantic traditions have exerted a continuing influence on Marxist theory. It continues with a close analysis of poems by leading East German authors such as Becher, Brecht and Maurer. A fundamental tension is uncovered in this poetry. There is the Romantic tendency to view erotic love as a source of salvation. There is also pressure in a Socialist state to subordinate personal feelings--including love--to collective priorities. While the poets have attempted to resolve this contradiction in highly original ways, none appears entirely successful.
Contents: After tracing the origin of Marxism in Romantic traditions, this book shows how Romanticism exerts a continuing influence on the poetry of East Germany today.