Alive Magazine: Literature & Ideology

Letter: Nothing Like Alive in England

First Published:Alive Magazine: Literature & Ideology No 45, November 1975
Transcription, Editing and Markup: Malcolm and Paul Saba
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Enclosed 2 short stories from a supporter of CPE (M-L). Although we have a weekly paper we have no literary mag. Alive is the only thing I’ve come across that is successfully attempting to develop M-L literature without confining itself to purely ideological material. Re: The Execution of the Infant Mary: the prologue, although not a necessary part of the story, is necessary to an understanding of what prompted its writing. I feel I also ought to explain that the child (the last to be executed at Strangeways Gaol, Liverpool) was not named Mary, but that name was chosen as a play on the reverence accorded by religion to the virgin Mary. Nor were the circumstances exactly as fictionally described; the only facts being that she was one of many seven year old children executed for theft, and that the hangman did write in his log that she wept piteously for her mother.

The statement of Mr. Wilson as to the sanctity of the law regardless of its oppressive nature can be verified in Hansard (first quarter, 1975). I might further add that the Authorities of the time of the execution of these children must have been both conscious of the evil they were doing and of its likely disturbing effect upon the public, for although public executions were still the norm, children were always hanged privately.

T. GRAHAM, England

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Publisher’s Note: The short story: The Execution of the Infant Mary is published in this issue. We would like to point out that Alive is striving to develop anti-imperialist literature and art, of which Marxist-Leninist literature is an essential part It is the anti-imperialist nature of Alive which made it possible for the publication Literature & Ideology to be absorbed by Alive magazine; and, not vice versa.