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Georg Lukács (1885 - 1971)

Related: cultural Marxism - literary theory - theory of the novel -


Georg Lukács (April 13, 1885 - June 4, 1971) was a Hegelian and Marxist philosopher and literary critic. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Luk%C3%A1cs [Nov 2005]

The Theory of the Novel (1916) - Georg Lukács

Literary and aesthetic work
In addition to his standing as a Marxist political thinker, Lukács was an influential literary critic of the twentieth century. His important work in literary criticism began early in his career, with The Theory of the Novel, a seminal work in literary theory and the theory of genre. The book is a history of the novel as a form, and an investigation into its distinct characteristics.

Lukács later repudiated The Theory of the Novel, writing a lengthy introduction that described it as erroneous, but nonetheless containing a "romantic anti-capitalism" which would later develop into Marxism. (This introduction also contains his famous dismissal of Theodor Adorno and others in Western Marxism as having taken up residence in the "Grand Hotel Abyss.")

Lukács's later literary criticism includes the well-known essay "Kafka or Thomas Mann?", in which Lukács argues for the work of Thomas Mann as a superior attempt to deal with the condition of modernity, while he criticizes Franz Kafka's brand of modernism. Lukács was steadfastly opposed to the formal innovations of modernist writers like Kafka, James Joyce, and Samuel Beckett, preferring the traditional aesthetic of realism. He famously argued for the revolutionary character of the novels of Sir Walter Scott and Honoré de Balzac. Lukács felt that both authors' nostalgic, pro-aristocratic politics allowed them accurate and critical stances because of their opposition to the rising bourgeoisie (albeit reactionary opposition). This view was expressed in his later book The Historical Novel. --http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georg_Luk%C3%A1cs [Nov 2005]

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