Literature and Revolution

Literature and Revolution

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By Leon Trotsky

'It is unquestionably true that the need for art is not created by economic conditions. But neither is the need for food created by economics. On the contrary, the need for food and warmth creates economics.

It is very true that one cannot always go by the principles of Marxism in deciding whether to reject or to accept a work of art. A work of art should, in the first place, be judged by its own law, that is, by the law of art. But Marxism alone can explain why and how a given tendency in art has originated in a given period of history; in other words, who it was who made a demand for such an artistic form and not for another, and why.'

This book, written in the years immediately after the Russian workers' revolution of 1917, looks at the relationship between literature, art and society and at the role of literature and art in the construction of a future socialist society.