New PDF release: History of the Three Internationals

By William Z. Foster

ISBN-10: 1495463133

ISBN-13: 9781495463136

Background of the 3 Communist Internationals

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Chapter 7 is an interrogation of Rozanov, the archprocreationist in symbolist circles whose unconventional writings sanctified sex, the procreative family, and its genealogical function. In the 1890s, Rozanov was an enthusiastic admirer of Tolstoy’s earlier depictions of family and childbirth, as exemplified by the famed synecdoche of the diaper with the yellow stain in the epilogue of War and Peace. A product of a procreative economy, the diaper—in contrast to the later use of synecdoche in the fin de siècle—reconstitutes nature’s whole, affirming the reproductive cycle.

62 Even though Foucault’s claim regarding the transformation of sex into discourse is at times too all-encompassing and reductive, it sheds light on the creation of love’s body by the men and women whom I call decadent utopians. Their view of eros—based on a phantasm—was almost exclusively discursive. I suggest that the discursiveness of the Russian erotic utopia was more totalizing than even Freud’s theory and practice of psychoanalysis, which also reflected the epoch’s sexual anxieties, but in a bourgeois, not utopian, ambience.

A symbolist fellow traveler, he bared their discursive sexual agendas and fears and shocked their sensibilities, comparing celibacy, for instance, to constipation. More vocally than anyone else, Rozanov emphasized the divinity of sex, representing it, however, in explicitly physical terms. He privileged the everyday, not symbolist abstraction. Instead of veiling sex with abstract images and discourses, as did his symbolist contemporaries, he delighted in representing images of secreting genitalia, female breasts, and pregnant stomachs in his works.

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History of the Three Internationals by William Z. Foster

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