Thursday, August 28, 2014

Helen Macfarlane: Red Republican

At 7pm on Monday 1st September, at the Cock Tavern, Chalton Street/Phoenix Road (NW1), the AMM [Association of Musical Marxists} launches the latest from Unkant Publishers:
David Black’s collection of Helen Macfarlane’s wildly fantastic journalism for Chartist newspapers: Helen Macfarlane: Red Republican.

No-one has heard of Macfarlane [except readers of this blog *], and this omission hurts you – and all the things you think you know about feminism/marxism, personal/political, potential/actual etc.

In 1850, a Scottish governess who’d experienced revolution in Vienna in 1848, left “respectability” behind and began contributing to Democratic Review, Red Republican and Friend of the People, newspapers aimed at the revolutionary working class (‘the Chartists’). Macfarlane read Hegel better than S.T. Coleridge and wrote better prose than George Eliot; she translated The Communist Manifesto into English thirty years before the version you know. Karl Marx called her a ‘rare bird’. Macfarlane’s neglect by ‘Marxists’, ‘feminists’ and ‘progressives’ since is a historical crime only the AMM, with its obstinate reappraisal of subject-object relations, can imagine.

At the Cock, Macfarlane will be reimagined by actress Helene le Bohec, by Dave Black as MC and by musicians as diverse as tape-manipulator Ian Stonehouse and bassist Mark Harvey. Please come down to a left pub-upstairs-meeting which is free, welcomes kids, includes ace improvising musicians and still has not made up its mind (entirely) on the Big Political Issues bearing down on you.

* Tuesday, November 30, 2010 - ANTIGONE in VICTORIAN ENGLAND - Helen Macfarlane, Revolutionary and Feminist in the Year 1850. By David Black.

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