Karl Marx’s comments on silk manufacture in “The Working Day” chapter of Capital, volume 1, demonstrate how “quality”—usually associated with “use value”—has been mobilized by capital to naturalize industrialized labor. Putting his insight into conversation with a recent multimedia poetic project, Jen Bervin’s Silk Poems (2016–17), this essay examines the homology between, on the one hand, poetry’s avowed task of fitting form to content and, on the other, the ideology of labor that fits specific bodies to certain materials and tasks.
Research Article| July 29 2020
Marx, Silk Poems, and the Pretext of Qualities
Representations (2020) 151 (1): 96–126.
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Kathryn Crim; Marx, Silk Poems, and the Pretext of Qualities. Representations 29 July 2020; 151 (1): 96–126. doi: https://doi.org/10.1525/rep.2020.151.5.96
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