Of particular value for a re-evaluation of Marx’s achievement was the resumed publication in 1998 of the Marx-Engels-Gesamtausgabe (MEGA²), the historical-critical edition of the complete works of Marx and Friedrich Engels. Twenty-eight more volumes have already appeared (forty were published between 1975 and 1989), and others are in the course of preparation. The MEGA² is organized in four sections: (1) all the works, articles and drafts written by Marx and Engels (with the exception of Capital); (2) Capital and all its preparatory materials; (3) the correspondence – consisting of 4.000 letters by Marx and Engels and 10.000 written to them by others, a large number published for the first time in the MEGA²; and (4) the excerpts, annotations and marginal notes. This fourth section bears witness to Marx’s truly encyclopaedic labours: ever since his time at university, it was his habit to compile extracts from the books he read, often interspersing them with reflections that they suggested to him. Marx’s literary bequest contains some two hundred notebooks. They are essential for an understanding of the genesis of his theory and of those elements he was unable to develop as he would have wished.
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