Marx
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71 Marx When I think of Marx, what comes to mind is not the iconic and huge-bearded impoverished titan working heroically in the British Library Reading Room and writing below his best for the American press in order to feed his wife and kids. Rather, I think of the youthful Karl Heinrich studying in Berlin and writing sonnets to his unwell love Jenny von Westphalen, ‘Love is Jenny, Jenny is love’s name’, he wrote; she called him ‘my little wild boar’. Or I think of him in his room sketching the first act of his pretty awful tragedy, Oulanem, or arranging the chapters of a sub-Sternean humoristical novel called Scorpion and Felix, complete with sub-Shakesperean puns (‘A horse! A horse! My kingdom for a horse!’, said Richard III. ‘A husband, a husband, myself for a husband’, said Grethe), and extended jokes about constipation, 72 ‘Grethe! How many days is it since Boniface last had a motion? Did I not instruct you to administer to him a lavement at least once every week? But I see that in future I shall have to take over such weighty matters myself ! Bring oil, salt, bran, honey and a clyster! ‘Poor Boniface! You are constipated with your hollow thoughts and reflections, since you can no longer relieve yourself in speech and writing! ‘O admirable victim of profundity! O pious constipation!’ ...


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