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Left-Wing Melancholia – Marxism, History, and Memory - Columbia Scholarship Online
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Left-Wing Melancholia: Marxism, History, and Memory

Enzo Traverso


The fall of the Berlin Wall marked the end of the Cold War but also the rise of a melancholic vision of history as a series of losses. For the political left, the cause lost was communism, and this trauma determined how leftists wrote the next chapter in their political struggle and how they have thought about their past since. Throughout the twentieth century, argues Left-Wing Melancholia, from classical Marxism to psychoanalysis to the advent of critical theory, a culture of defeat and its emotional overlay of melancholy have characterized the leftist understanding of the political in histor ... More

Keywords: Communism, Defeat, Melancholy, Marxism, Memory, Mourning, Postcolonialism, Revolution

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780231179423
Published to Columbia Scholarship Online: January 2019 DOI:10.7312/columbia/9780231179423.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Enzo Traverso, author
Cornell University