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Marx Engels Correspondence 1873

Engels to Marx


Source: Marx Engels On Literature and Art, Moscow 1976;
Transcribed: by Andy Blunden.

December 10, 1873

That scamp Roderich Benedix has left a bad odour behind in the shape of a thick tome against “Shakespearomania.” He proved in it to a nicety that Shakespeare can’t hold a candle to our great poets, not even to those of modern times. Shakespeare is presumably to be hurled down from his pedestal only in order that fatty Benedix is hoisted on to it. There is more life and reality in the first act of the Merry Wives alone than in all German literature, and Launce with his dog Crab is alone worth more than all the German comedies put together. By way of contrast, Benedix with the weighty posterior will indulge in argumentations as serious as they are cheap over the unceremonious manner in. which Shakespeare often makes short work of his dénouements and thereby cuts short the tedious twaddle, although in real life it is unavoidable. Let him have his way.