Russian Formalism and Marxist criticism had a seismic impact on twentieth-century literary theory and the shockwaves are still felt today. First published in 1979, Tony Bennett's Formalism and Marxism created its own reverberations by offering a ground-breaking new interpretation of the Formalists' achievements and demanding a new way forward in Marxist criticism. Placing the work of key figures in context and addressing such issues as aesthetics, linguistics and the category of literature, form and function or literary evolution, Bennett argues that the Formalists' concerns provided the basis for a radically historical approach to the study of literature. Addressing such crucial questions as 'What is literature?' or 'How should it be studied and to what end?', Formalism and Marxism explores ideas which should be considered by any student or reader of literature and provides a particular challenge to those interested in Marxist criticism. Now with a new afterword, this classic text still offers the best available starting point for those new to the field, as well as representing a crucial intervention in twentieth-century literary theory.