Art and devolution

The following piece is a review of a new Off-Broadway adaptation of The Iron Heel, a book by Jack London. This review is also itself an adaptation of Leon Trotsky’s 1937 review of the The Iron Heel. Do follow along with the Trotsy original — and excuse the excessive adverbs, for which Trotsky had an unfortunate weakness.

The play produced upon me—I speak without exaggeration—ambivalence. Not because of its artistic qualities: the form of the play here represents only an armour for propaganda analysis, and a reminder that the West hasn’t developed any new forms of political organisation since index funds socialism. The director is intentionally nostalgic in his use of audience sing-along. He is himself interested not so much in the fate of socialism as in the fate of political discourse. By this, however, I don’t want at all to belittle the post-structuralist value of the work, especially in the fourth-wall-breaking commentary of one actor in its late scenes. The questions of narrator trustworthiness develop subtly. Nevertheless, this is not the main feature. The play surprised me with the sentimentality and rosiness of its historical framing.

Continue reading: Art and devolution

The following piece is a review of a new Off-Broadway adaptation of The Iron Heel, a book by Jack London. This review is also itself an adaptation of Leon Trotsky’s 1937 review of the The Iron Heel. Do follow along with the Trotsy original — and excuse the excessive adverbs, for which Trotsky had an unfortunate weakness.

The play produced upon me—I speak without exaggeration—ambivalence. Not because of its artistic qualities: the form of the play here represents only an armour for propaganda analysis, and a reminder that the West hasn’t developed any new forms of political organisation since index funds socialism. The director is intentionally nostalgic in his use of audience sing-along. He is himself interested not so much in the fate of socialism as in the fate of political discourse. By this, however, I don’t want at all to belittle the post-structuralist value of the work, especially in the fourth-wall-breaking commentary of one actor in its late scenes. The questions of narrator trustworthiness develop subtly. Nevertheless, this is not the main feature. The play surprised me with the sentimentality and rosiness of its historical framing.

Continue reading: Art and devolution