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After locating two distinct Marxist aesthetic traditions – Lenin's claim that a “party literature” can be free or autonomous because it doesn’t have to answer to capitalist constraints, and another less optimistic tradition that argues that as art is a commodity, it is all about capitalist constraints – this chapter argues for a third one that presumes there is much to gain by putting Marxist and anarchist theories of literature closer together than they often are. The chapter first recounts how the Bolsheviks turned a resistant literature into a state literature after the Russian revolution. It then traces this understanding through the Cold War, pointing out how it also shaped the relationship that the US state has to literature. The conclusion argues for a Marxist aesthetic that is not based on the Soviet example, but one based instead on revolutionary moments such as Russian Revolution or the Paris Commune or the anticolonial movements of the 1950s and 1960s.
W.H. Auden's scenario implies that psychoanalysis will produce a new poem. Poets protested that the term confessional ignored meticulous craftsmanship and knowing self-dramatization. Poets from midcentury have explored psychoanalytic models of personhood, voice, and dialogue to complicate models of lyric expressivity. Mouths recur throughout Plath's poetry, mediating between the realm of bodies, blood, and wounds and the potentially more ethereal realm of voice. The sequence of poems about beekeeping that closes Sylvia Plath's Ariel manuscript links poetic creation with organic production and reproduction. To speak because one is shattered might be to utter a cry of emotional devastation. Although it might equally be to recognize that to speak is to be open to, and broken open by, the conditions of speech: psychoanalytic, linguistic, social, and historical. In the new century, the divide between sincere lyric and experimental poetry has been perceived to have broken down.