The Broken Music of the Revolution: Trotsky and Blok

Toscano, Alberto. 2017. The Broken Music of the Revolution: Trotsky and Blok. Crisis and Critique, 4(2), pp. 404-426. ISSN 2311-8172 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

This article explores Lev Trotsky’s claim in that, while not being a poem of the revolution, the symbolist poet Aleksandr Blok’s The Twelve (1918) was the most significant literary product of the revolutionary epoch. It places Trotsky’s encounter with Blok in the context of Literature and Revolution’s stance on the ‘art of transition’, and identifies the contrast between an elemental (or romantic) and a teleological (or rationalist) conception of revolution as the crux of Trotsky’s critical estimation of Blok. By way of conclusion, the article tries to query the determinacy of this distinction between the elemental and the teleological, by considering the dialectic of form and formlessness as the locus for a tragic conception of the revolution.

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7 November 2017Published
21 September 2017Accepted

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Date Deposited:

21 Nov 2017 14:35

Last Modified:

29 Apr 2020 16:41

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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