The literature of the left, is literary. Marx, Aimé Césaire, Suzane Césaire, Louis Althusser, Audre Lorde, Simone Yoyotte, Pierre Yoyotte, J H Prynne, Jules Monnerot, Simone de Beauvoir, Christopher Caudwell, Claudia Jones, Theodore Adorno, Walter Benjamin, CLR James, Leon Trotsky, John Berger, the prelapsarian Christopher Hitchens and Rusa Luxemburg are all notable for being, not just theorists, journalists, historians, philosophers, poets and intellectuals who opened up new worlds to their readers but, precisely on that account, great stylists. Historical materialism, at its inception, stressed the artifice - the art - in living, and goes on doing so. We make history, even if not in circumstances or with materials of our own choosing. Nothing has to be taken as it is given, not even our written language.