Having completed what began as a revision and ended up being a largely new book (Marxist Criticism of the Hebrew Bible), my attention now turns to a project I have been wanting to undertake. It is called Intimate Life and focuses on issues such as love, sex, bodies, illness, death, the good life, and so on – of communists, of course.

As I began reading Mary Gabriel’s book, I came across this gem. After their much delayed wedding in June, 1843, Karl Marx and Jenny von Westphalen stayed at Kreuznach until October. With no obligation to anyone but themselves, they had an extraordinary time. They had rampant sex, Jenny fell pregnant, and they – for they read and discussed these matters together – produced some of the most significant texts that are now credited to the ‘young Marx’. These are the ‘Kreuznach notebooks’. They include one of the most famous statements concerning religion as the ‘opium of the people’; the stunning criticism of Hegel’s philosophy of law; and the discovery of the proletariat as the force of history.

Something to be said for sex and creativity.