Boswell's Life of Marx: There Will Be Beard!

Ever since the publication of his Life of Samuel Johnson, the name Boswell has become synonymous with biographical genius and companion. In philosophical circles, the story of his encounter with David Hume shortly before the latter's death is usually told as a testament to Hume's courage and commitment to his philosophical views. Unlike the death-bed conversion Boswell was expecting, Hume surprised him, and earned more of his respect (and incredulity), by affirming his skepticism concerning the immateriality and immortality of the soul. Boswell is said to have experienced nightmares as a result of said meeting.

But Boswell's influence has also broken the barrier into fiction. In A Scandal In Bohemia, for instance, Sherlock Holmes famously compliments his faithful friend and chronicler, Dr. Watson, by confessing to him "I am lost without my Boswell." And in the brilliant BBC TV adaptation Sherlock, in which, through the medium of blog entries, Watson recounts Sherlock's adventures and mishaps, there's a subtle allusion to the original Holmes quote above (and a clever play on words on the Boswell reference) when Sherlock tells Watson: "What would I do without my blogger?" (Sherlock has lots of those great and gratifying allusions and references for those familiar with the original canon.)

But apparently Boswell eventually turned into a drunk and horny time traveller, traversing the fabric of space-time and visiting parallel worlds on a quest to document the lives of geniuses... or the whole thing may have just been one LSD-induced dream. It's not quite clear. Either way, the following is a hilarious treat about Marx's thoughts on seizing the means of production, and on his followers' attempts to seize the means of reproduction:




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