Uruguayan leftist writer with an impressive repetoire of
stories, and novels, as beautiful and progressive as the brilliant
poems for which he was most famous. Born in Paso de los Toros, his
family settled in Montevideo in 1924. He worked many different jobs
when he was young, and later began to write for different cultural
publications, as well as beginning his life of literary creation. After
the 1973 rightist coup in Uruguay, he was forced into exile, only
returning in 1983. Remained a principled progressive to his death.
Nigerian marxist writer, he has written several radical,
about Nigeria. In the 1980's he was active in a progressive academic
staff union, eventually becoming its president. Detained several times
for his activism during the military dictatorship of Ibrahim Babangida.
Always deeply concerned about social justice and having no faith in the
ruling class, Iyayi has remained a committed and principled radical.
|Mongo Beti (1932-2001)
Cameroonian leftist known for his stringent satires
and neo-colonialism. From his youth he was an outspoken enemy of
colonialism and supporter of Ruben Um Nyobe, the leftist leader who led
an armed anti-colonial struggle against the French in Cameroon and was
executed in 1958. Spent the better part of his life in France, due to
his criticisms of the client regime in Cameroon.
|Alex La Guma
South African communist writer born in District Six,
Becoming a member of a labor union in 1945, he was subsequently fired
from his job for organizing a strike. Joined the Young Communists
League in 1947 and the South African Communist Party in 1948. A
defendant in the famous Treason Trial organized by the racist
government against anti-apatheid figures, he left South Africa in 1966
and lived the rest of his life in exile.
German marxist playwright and poet. Began writing when
he was young, he
didn't become a Marxist until 1926, eight years after he completed his
first full-length play. For the next thirty years his plays and poetry
would be permeated with a critical, revolutionary spirit, and a firm
understanding and support of class struggle. Forced into exile in 1933
due to the rise of the Nazis to power, Brecht continued to agitate,
through his plays, against the Nazi regime, and fascism in general. He
remained committed to Marxism till his death.
Kenyan leftist novelist who grew up during the time of
the Mau Mau
anti-colonial revolt. In the 70's organized several popular plays, with
the actors/actresses being normal people, and the plays with strong
messages of anti-imperialist and social justice. Arrested in 1977 for
his opposition to the dictatorship of Daniel arap Moi. After his
release he left the country and has spent the rest of his life in
exile. Once a member of a of a small,
underground Marxist group in Kenya, his is more of a mild leftist in
Guatemalan communist poet.
Went into exile in 1954 after a
CIA-orchestrated coup, and returned clandestinely in 1966 and joined
the guerilla struggle against the regime. In March 1967 he was captured
by government forces, taken to their barracks where he was tortured for
four days, and then burned alive. His poems are filled with his strong
belief in a better future, and his complete opposition to oppression
and exploitation. The beauty and consciousness of his poems can't but
affect the reader.
Czech communist writer who wrote for Social Democratic
Vienna and Prague in the years before the October revolution. In 1920
he spent six months in the Soviet Union, and on his return to
Czechoslovakia joined the Communist Party of Czechoslovakia in 1921,
the year of it's formation. He began contributing to The Red Right,
the official newspaper of the CPC, and writing many works of fiction as
well. Was imprisioned in 1926 and 1928 for his communist positions.
During WWII, fearing for his safety (his mother was Jewish), we
retreated to the small town of Stříbrec, where he eventually became
involved with the Communist resistance.
Commmunist poet from El Salvador, his short life was
made up of exiles
and imprisonments while he continued to produce poetry of the greatest
value, artistically and politically, which showed his commitment to
ending injustice forever. Incapable of living a calm life in exile he
returned to El Salvador to join a leftist guerilla group and was
executed on command of the leadership of the group for his criticism
(from the left) of its tactics.
Senegalian communist writer and director of progressive
films, he was
born in Zinguinchor, his father a fisherman. Briefly attended an
Islamic school and then a French school, from which he was expelled in
1936 for opposing the disgusting racism of the principal. He left for
Dakar in 1938 and worked there for a time as a manual laborer. In 1944
he was drafted into the Senegalese Tirailleurs. Upon his return to
Senegal in 1946 he became a member of the construction workers' trade
union, and participated in the lively labor movement of the time,
influenced by the several month long Dakar-Niger railway strike of
1947. In the same year, unemployed and desirous of change, he
stowed away in a ship bound for France. In France he settled in
Marseille, and working as a docker, he soon joined the communist CGT
union and subsequently the Communist Party. Returning to Senegal after
its 'independence' in 1960, he continued his writing which he had
started in France. Then, in 1963, with a desire for his progressive art
to reach the greatest possible number of people, he began to make
Polish Marxist who began his revolutionary life in
Warsaw as a member
of the Polish Communist Party during its days of illegality under
Pilsudski's military dictatorship a decade after the October
revolution. In the thirties he became on of the most prominent and
principled members of a leftist opposition group within the Polish CP
which eventually sided with Trotsky. Expelled from the party in 1931
for his participation in a party faction and for "inflating" the threat
of german fascism, Deutscher continued his revolutionary work outside
the party until 1939, a few months before the outbreak of WWII, when he
traveled to Britain as a journalist for a Polish paper. In Britain
Deutscher focused his energies on historical writing, and produced his
famous three part biography of Trotsky and his biography of Stalin as
well as many other important and useful books on the Russian revolution
and its aftermath. A committed, serious 'traditional' Marxist to his
remained a fierce critic of Stalinism, and to a lesser extent a critic
of orthodox Troskyism.
South African writer born in District Six, Cape Town, a
area that is of prim importance in his novels. A firm enemy of racism
and apartheid, his novels reflect this.
Fo (1926-) and
Franca Rame (1928-)
Italian Marxist playwrights and actors who started
working in the
initially enjoying a very close relationship to the PCI, then briefly
becoming Maoists, to stabilize in the late 1970's as independent
plays are unashamedly political, and deal with very serious subjects,
yet all are comedies and often violently satirical. Fo
considered himself in line with the jesters of medieval times who used
comedy as a weapon to agitate against the rich, and in Fo's opinion
political theatre is much more effective when it is delivered with
humor. Fo and Rame are open partisans of the working class, and their
plays are unique in that they focus most of their attention on normal,
working class characters and not bourgeois characters.
Russian Marxist writer and novelist, born in Belgium to
two anti-czarists in exile. Began as an anarchist, and soon after the
October revolution, in a French concentration camp he came to Marxism,
and remained a Marxist till his death. A participant in the Russian
revolution from 1919 on, he worked for the Comintern and participated
in the famous defense of Petrograd in October 1919. Later a Left
Oppositionist, who suffered greatly for his principles, he was allowed
to leave his forced exile in Orenberg in 1936 and leave the Soviet
Union. Spent the rest of his life in exile in Belgium, France and
Mexico. An independent Marxist, Serge was to the left
of most of
the Bolsheviks, and was a critic of the unnecessary repression of the
Kronstadt revolt (on which he had a heated correspondence with
Trotsky), as well as the lack of inner-party democracy which began very
soon after the October revolution.
A master at short stories, novels, plays, and articles,
his works focused on social questions and he was an open partisan of
the downtrodden, and was unique in that he had a background of
privitation and poverty, not of wealth and comfort like most writers.
Considered to be the founder of Socialist Realism (not the stalinist
bastardization), by the turn of the century he was an open supporter of
Social Democracy. Giving financial and other support to the Russian
Social Democratic Party, he was considered the literateur of the
Russian marxists, although his relations with the Bolsheviks were far
from stable. Arrested many times for his opposition to Tsarism, he was
and will remain one of the greatest socialist novelists ever, with an
unequalled abitity in writing about the oppressed: sympathetically,
realistically, and with the spirit of revolution.
Sicilian realist novelist whose writings often deal with
Born in Catania, he spent a large part of his life in northern Italy,
and the majority of his writings deal with his native island.
Italian marxist theorist and writer.
|Jiri Weil (1900-1959)
Czech communist writer, joined the Young Communists in
1921 and began writing cultural articles for The Red Right,
the CP newspaper. The first to translate Mayakovsky to Czech, he
visited the Soviet Union for the first time in 1922, and later from
1933 to 1935 lived in the Soviet Union as a translator for the
Comintern. In the later half of the 1930's he was expelled from the
Communist Party for his opposition to stalinism. A Jew, he was called
up for the "transports" in 1942 after already living under several
years of brutal german occupation. Refusing to go to his death without
resistance, he faked a suicide and spent the rest of the war living
clandestinely in the apartments and other lodgings his acquaintances
could help him find. A radical writer, the spirit of resistance
permeates his works.
communist satirist, he started writing satirical sketches in 1901 and
continued to focus on satire his whole life. An anarchist before the
war he was known for his radicalism and hate for the bourgeois. Drafted
to fight in the Austro-Hungarian army during WWI, he was soon
"captured" by the Russians. In the Russian camps he joined the Czech
Legions (a bourgeois nationalist group) in which he stayed till early
1918. Became committed to the Russian revolution and its ideals and did
the work of many during his time as a Political Officer in the Red Army
during the Civil War. Returned to Czechoslovakia in late 1920, where he
died two years later. The ultimate writer of progressive satire, his
works are very humorous and very critical of the bourgeoise and the
Spanish communist writer who joined the Spanish
Communist Party in the early thirties, later participating in the
Spanish Revolution. Went into exile with the victory of fascism in
Spain in 1939 and was a prominent member of the Spanish CP until 1964
when he was expelled for criticizing its rigid stalinism.
Angolan novelist of portugese descent, he fought with the leftist MPLA
during its guerilla war against portugese colonialism, and has remained
Filipino communist writer and labor leader.
Imprisoned in 1950 for six years for his involvement in labor
organizing and his ties to the Filipino Communist Party, then engaged
in a guerilla struggle with the government. Continued until his death
as a defender of the downtrodden and advocate for equality.
amerikan communist who fought with Filipinos against amerikan
neo-colonialism. A soldier in the army that re-occupied the
Phillipines, he decided to stay after the war, where he
taught for several years while involved clandestinely with Filipino
with his Filipina wife Celia Mariano (a former communist guerilla) whom
he married in 1948. In 1950
he and Celia joined the Hukbalahap in the forests, were they stayed two
years until their capture by government forces in 1952. Released from
prison in 1962 the couple spent the rest of their lives in England.
Kenyan Marxist historian considered one of the
important researchers on the Mau Mau (Kenyan national liberation
group). Arrested for his opposition to the dictatorship
of Daniel arap Moi, he was imprisoned for six and a half years, mostly
confinement. Released in 1988, and unwilling to continue under constant
harrasement in Kenya, he sought asylum abroad. In Kenya and abroad was
a member of a small, underground Marxist group.
South African poet and novelist who lived most of his life in Soweto,
on the outskirts of Johannesburg. Was active in the Black Consciousness
German marxist who became a well-known figure on the german left due to
her articles in the leftist newspaper konkret.
Originally a new-left type, in 1970, like many other leftists in
western coutries at the time she turned to "urban guerillism."
Becoming one of the most prominent members of the Red Army Faction she
was arrested in 1972 and found "hung" in her cell in 1976.