Peter Weiss made no secret of the importance of form for his magnum opus The Aesthetics of Resistance. “Again and again [I’ve made] new attempts at finding a form for the book,” he wrote early on in its conception. This authorial search is, in fact, far more complicated than the long blocks of prose Weiss settled on for the novel. Exemplified in volume 2’s opening confrontation with Théodore Géricault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa, this search within the narrative vacillates between constituting erect forms and leveling them altogether. With the aid of Georges Bataille, the following essay illuminates not only how reading and writing embody these oppositions between form and formless but also how this tension culminates in Weiss’s poetic regeneration of a Marxism uncanny in nature despite what he perceived as dialectical materialism’s bureaucratic exhaustion in the Eastern bloc.

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