chapter  2
Magical Narratives: On the Dialectical Use of Genre Criticism
Pages 48

The Marxian vision of history outlined in the previous chapter has sometimes, as we have observed, been described as a "comic" archetype or a "romance" paradigm.1 What is meant thereby is the

salvational or redemptive perspective of some secure future, from which, with William Morris' Time Traveller, we can have our "fill of the pleasure of the eyes without any of that sense of incongruity, that dread of approaching ruin, which had always beset me hitherto when I had been among the beautiful works of art of the past."2 In such a future, indeed, or from its perspective, our own cultural tradition-the monuments of power societies (for Goethe, the Iliad was a glimpse into hell) as well as the stories of fierce market competition and the expressions of commodity lust and of the triumph of the commodity form-will be read as children's books, recapitulating the barely comprehensible memory of ancient dangers.