The History of Literature Podcast

164 Karl Marx

Karl Marx (1818-1883) turned his early interest in literature and philosophy into a lifelong study of the socioeconomic forces unleashed by the rise of capitalism. His works The Communist Manifesto and Das Kapital, among others, influenced the course of the twentieth century like few others. But who was Karl Marx? How did his ideas become so widespread? And how did his thinking and writing impact literature? We’ll talk about Karl Marx and Marxist Literary Theory with Mike Palindrome, the President of the Literature Supporters Club, who has spent more than twenty years reading literary theory as an amateur enthusiast.

Mike’s recommendations:

  • “Ideological and Ideological State Apparatuses” by Louis Althusser
  • Mythologies by Roland Barthes
  • Debt:  The First 5,000 Years by Daniel Graeber
  • The Political Unconscious by Fredric Jameson
  • Utopia or Bust by Benjamin Kunkel
  • The Year of Dreaming Dangerously by Slavoj Zizek
  • What is to be Done? by Vladimir Lenin

Support the show at Find out more at,, or by following Jacke and Mike on Twitter at @thejackewilson and @literatureSC. Or send an email to


2 thoughts on “164 Karl Marx”

  1. Hi Jacke. Thank you for reading my feedback on your episode about Gabo. When I let my wife hear you reading my comments, she was superbly exulted. My two teenage daughters, 12 and 14 named Math and Pi, respectively were ecstatic too when I replayed it to them. They were happy for their father who is so smitten with literature.

    And me too of course. You can just imagine the joy I felt when your idol appreciated your feedback and forever included it in that special episode where Karl Marx was featured in the podcast. Of all writers you have featured, I have the priviledge of being mentioned together with this great philosopher!

    You are right. Sometimes we are so caught up with the “bird” and fail to see the sky that allows it to exist freely. Marx gave us that glimpse and gave me that opportunity to have a wider view of perspectives.

    Continue on Jacke. Let’s have coffee sometime here in Manila.

    1. You’re welcome! I’m so grateful to you for your warm and generous comments, which have filled my heart with joy.

      I do not know when life will take me to Manila next, but I am very glad to know that there is a spot at a coffee shop waiting for me, with a newfound friend as well.

      Best wishes,

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