Nineteenth-Century Prose Special Issue:
“Talking Revolution: Marx’s Speeches”

Edited By Kimberly DeFazio and Rob Wilkie





Nineteenth-Century Prose Special Issue Cover

In engaging with Marx’s speeches as languages of struggle for a new society free from class relations, this special issue of Nineteenth-Century Prose draws a new map of contemporary theory. It situates Marx’s speeches—from the Inaugural Address to the First International to speeches on the Paris Commune—in the ever contemporary labor and capital relations. Historicizing speech in modern bourgeois theory, the essays demonstrate how speech was barred in neoliberal deconstruction, which displaced emancipation from class with liberation from the “metaphysics of presence,” and how, in the newer “derivatives”—Speculative Realism, Object-Oriented Ontology, New Materialism—speech as the active discourse of class struggles is silenced through the tropes of “correlation,” “withholding,” “networks,” and ”federated agency” in the affirmative concretes of post-critique. The affirmative concrete obscures the “real abstraction” of digital exchanges in the market and replaces class with “interlinked communities” and turns collectivities into affinities. Speech, and this is the political imperative of speaking of Marx speaking, is the ruthless living critique of capital’s “Working Day.”

“Introduction: Talking Revolution: Marx’s Speeches and the Speculative Communism”
Kimberly DeFazio and Rob Wilkie

“The Spectral Silence of différance: The Speech of Object-Oriented Exploitation”
Jennifer Cotter

“Speaking Internationalism: Class Difference in the Writerly Cosmopolitics”
Amrohini Sahay

“‘That single, unconscionable freedom’: Reflections on Marx’s ‘Speech on the Question of Free Trade’”
Bret Benjamin

“Emissaries of the Outside-Within: On the Speecherly in Marx’s Speech at The Hague”
Robert Faivre and Julie Torrant

“Speaking of Communism: How Badiou Subtracts Class from Marx’s Speeches on the Paris Commune to Produce a New (Infantile) Communism”
Stephen Tumino

Appendices: A Selection of Marx’s Speeches

"An exceptional contribution to social and cultural theory. These essays not only offer new, path breaking interpretations of Marx's speeches which have not been the focus of substantive analysis, but in reading Marx, they retrace contemporary theory to its class interest and write a new theory of theory."

— Peter McLaren, author of Che Guevara, Paulo Freire, and the Pedagogy of Revolution