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By Raphael Hormann

This research investigates German and English innovative literary discourse among 1819 and 1848/49. Marked through dramatic socioeconomic variations, this era witnessed a stated transnational shift from the concept that of political revolution to 1 of social revolution. Writing the Revolution engages with literary authors, radical reporters, early proletarian pamphleteers, and political theorists, tracing their calls for for social liberation, in addition to their struggles with the threat of proletarian revolution. The publication argues that those ideological battles translated into competing "poetics of revolution." (Series: Kulturgeschichtliche Perspektiven - Vol. 10)

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White 1973, 305; White’s emphasis) Further ignoring the pronounced socio-revolutionary overtones to this passage and the possibility of ideological forms that are subversive of the present socioeconomic order, White further maintains that the only “dialectical” relationship in Marx’s model can be found in “the mode of transition from one form of publicly sanctioned consciousness to another” (305; White’s emphasis). Such a reading of Marx’s notion of ideology, however, fails to explain how a socio-revolutionary movement that aims to transform the existing socioeconomic order could develop at all.

Structures? Or does it rather function as a more precise model, an ‘analogy’ that depicts the dialectic interrelations between these two realms by way of correspondence? Stuart Hall illustrates these conundrums in a seminal reflection on – what he terms – the “‘base-superstructure’ metaphor” in Marxism (1977, 45). He demonstrates that ‘base-superstructure’ is at once one of most central and elusive concepts in Marx’s entire thinking. ) or that determination operates (one-directionally)? In essence, those are the problems posed by the central position in Marxism occupied by the topographical metaphor of base/superstructure.

They are also a means to develop new concepts and scenarios of revolutionary theory and action with the aim to ultimately change relations at the basic material level. Being reflec15 For instance Slavoj Žižek argues for such a parallel between Marx’s method of social analysis and that of psychoanalysis. As he claims, “there is a fundamental homology between the interpretative procedure of Marx and Freud – more precisely, between their analysis of commodity and of dreams” (2008, 3). 48 tions both on the social status quo and on ways to alter it, all textual documents in which the ideological forms manifest themselves (be it a socially critical poem by an aristocratic-bourgeois author such as Shelley or a pamphlet by contemporary labourers and workers) constitute equally valid ‘data’ for this study.

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