Sunday, March 2, 2008

Das Kapital - 50 Greatest books

Das Kapital by Karl Marx

'Of course," the French theorist Louis Althusser wrote, "we have all read, and all do read Das Kapital." Of course, we haven't and we don't. Even Althusser himself, who produced a book on the subject, eventually confessed in his memoirs that he was a "trickster and deceiver" who had read no more than "a few passages of Marx." Yet, in a broader sense, he was right: Ever since the publication of Das Kapital's first volume in 1867 - the only one completed in Marx's lifetime - we have read it in the world about us, in the dramas and conflicts of contemporary history.

Next week: The Confessions of St. Augustine

1 comment:

heather (errantdreams) said...

I guess it has always been the case that folks have lied (ahem, exaggerated) about the extent of their reading of the so-called important works in order to sound intelligent or well-educated.

Me, I've just always felt vaguely guilty about skipping as many of the 'classics' or 'great' books as possible, while at the same time doing it largely deliberately because one of my core personality traits is sheer contrariness. You'd think eventually I'd grow out of that, but no...