Christopher Caudwell

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Caudwell, Christopher


(pseudonym of Christopher Sprigg). Born Oct. 20, 1908; died Mar. 12, 1937. British author and critic.

In the 1930’s, Caudwell was an initiator of Marxist literary study and criticism in Great Britain. His articles on contemporary writers—published posthumously in Investigations of a Dying Culture (1938) and Further Investigations of a Dying Culture (1950)—had a marked sociological bent. The problems of aesthetics and the theory of poetry are the subjects of Illusion and Reality (1934, published 1937; Russian translation, 1969). Giving a material substantiation to art, Caudwell stressed the biological and psychological bases of creation, particularly criticizing the Freudian interpretation of art. Caudwell was the author of several novels, poems, and stories. He joined the Communist Party of Great Britain in 1935. He fought in the International Brigade in Spain and died in battle.


Urnov, D. M. “V bor’be.” In C. Caudwell, Illiuziia i deistvitel’nost’. Moscow, 1969
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Early Marxists, notably Christopher Caudwell and Walter Benjamin, found in technology not a threat but a positive force for cultural emancipation.
The second is Christopher Caudwell, a young English philosopher who also wrote great works before going off to die fighting heroically in the Spanish Civil War.
Yet, the Spanish Civil War was like no other war before or since, for it attracted intellectuals in such numbers that the names read like a Who's Who of the established and up-and-coming writers of the 1930s: Andre Malraux, Gustav Regler, Ludwig Renn, John Cornford, Louis Fischer, Christopher Caudwell, Arthur Koestler.
Jackson is clearly concerned to go back to a pre-Althusser period in order to rediscover what Marxism can offer the study of literature: unfortunately, the desire to revitalize the 'pre-cultural materialist' writings of Christopher Caudwell holds the concomitant implication that we need not concern ourselves with works beyond the 'modern' period as defined by Ulysses.
Tucker's critique emerges from within a longstanding humanist tradition of democratic socialism, which has included the likes of poet Christopher Caudwell, philosopher Bertrand Russell, writer Barbara Ehrenreich, and humanist luminary Corliss Lamont.
As a deep admirer of Walt Whitman, I believe that "man becomes free not by realizing himself in opposition to society but by realizing himself through society." That sentence might have been written by Whitman, but it was actually written by Christopher Caudwell, a young English Marxist who was killed fighting for the Loyalists in Spain.
Thompson, Perry Anderson, Christopher Caudwell, and John McGrath.
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