Sunday, July 08, 2007
Karl Marx, Prometheus of the working class.
It is Prometheus who remains his favorite hero; for Prometheus is a Satan who suffers, a Job who never assents; and, unlike either Job or Satan, he brings liberation to mankind. Prometheus turns up in Das Kapital (in Chapter Twenty-three) to represent the proletariat chained to capital. The Light-Bringer was tortured, we remember, by Zeus's eagle's tearing, precisely, his liver, as Karl Marx himself -- who is said to have reread Aeschylus every year -- was obsessed by the fear that his liver would be eaten like his father's by cancer. And yet, if it is a devouring bird which Father Zeus has sent against the rebel, it is also a devourer, a destroyer, fire, which Prometheus has brought to man. And in the meantime the deliverer is never delivered; the slayer never rises from the grave. The resurrection, although certain, is not yet; for the expropriators are yet to expropriated.Edmund Wilson, To The Finland Station 311 (NYRB, 2003).
Subscribe to Posts [Atom]