Georg Lukács

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Lukács, Georg


Born Apr. 13,1885, in Budapest; died there June 4, 1971. Hungarian philosopher and literary critic. Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

Lukács received his philosophical education in Budapest, Berlin, and Heidelberg. He was influenced by G. Simmel and M. Weber, although classical German philosophy also played a major role in the formation of his idealistic outlook. The most important of his early works were The Soul and the Forms (1910), The History of the Development of Modern Drama (1912), and The Theory of the Novel (1920). During World War I (1914-18) his protest against bourgeois culture and his sympathy for the working class ripened. Lukács broke with the Weber group and became an internationalist.

The Great October Revolution in Russia profoundly affected Lukács. In 1918 he joined the Hungarian Communist Party, and in 1919 he was People’s Commissar for Cultural Affairs of the Hungarian Soviet Republic. After the collapse of the republic in 1919 he took refuge in Vienna, where he was active in the underground activities of the Communist Party of Hungary. In the early 1920’s his political views bore the imprint of leftist sectarianism, but he soon acknowledged V. I. Lenin’s criticism of these views (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 41, pp. 135-136). Later, Lukacs also recognized the shortcomings of his philosophical work History and Class Consciousness (1923). Thereafter his views were not always consistent, and he sometimes committed serious political blunders. His activity in Moscow between 1930 and 1945 was of crucial importance for the development of his philosophical outlook. Here he studied the aesthetic heritage of Marx and Engels and worked out the theory of classical realism, attacking vulgar sociology and modernism. He was affiliated with the Communist Academy and with the journal Literaturnyi kritik. His mature works were written during this period, notably the collections Nineteenth-century Literary Theories and Marxism (1937) and History of Realism (1939) and such other works as The Historical Novel, Goethe and His Epoch, and Young Hegel.

In 1945, Lukács returned to Hungary, where he took part in the creation of the new Hungarian culture. He was active in the peace movement and a member of the World Peace Council. His attacks on contemporary bourgeois philosophy attracted worldwide attention (The Destruction of Reason, 1954). In the 1950’s he worked on a systematic exposition of Marxist aesthetics. The first two volumes of this work (The Specific Character of Aesthetics, 1963) contain an analysis of the principles of realism in art from the standpoint of Lenin’s theory of reflection, which drew

sharp criticism from the bourgeois press and revisionists, including the Frankfurt school and R. Garaudy. His last works were devoted to the ontology of social existence. Other parts of this vast work have been published posthumously. Lukács was awarded the Kossuth Prize in 1948 and 1955 and the Jubilee Medal of the USSR in commemoration of the centennial of Lenin’s birth.


Lenin: Studie überden Zusammenhang seiner Gedanken. Berlin-Vienna, 1924.
Fortschritt und Reaktion in der deutschen Literatur. Berlin, 1947.
Existentialisme ou marxisme. Paris, 1948.
Schicksalswende: Beiträge zu einer neuen deutschen Ideologic, 2nd ed. Berlin, 1956.
Adalékok az esztétika történetéhez. Budapest, 1957.
Beiträge zur Geschichte der Ästhetik. Berlin, 1956.
Német realisták. Budapest, 1955.
Skizze einer Geschichte der neuren deutschen Literatur. Berlin, 1955.
A különösség mint esztetikai kategoria. Budapest, 1957.
Wider den missverstandenen Realismus. Hamburg, 1958.
Schriften zur Literatursoziologie: Ausgewahlt und eingeleitet von R. Ludz. Berlin, 1961.
Utam markhoz, vols. 1-2. Budapest, 1971.
In Russian translation:
“Materializatsiia i proletarskoe soznanie.” Vestnik Sotsialisticheskoi Akademii, 1923, books 4-6.
Bor’ba gumanizma i varvarstva. Tashkent, 1943.
References in periodicals archive ?
Into this plot Tabucchi weaves several background themes: the plight of Gypsies, transvestites, and other outcasts in modern-day Portugal; the social geography of Oporto; and Firmino's extracurricular interests in Georg Lukacs, Elio Vittorini, and the Italian and American influences on 1950s Portuguese literature.
Byerman in an essay which argues for a reading of his characters as "ordinary" figures (in the sense defined by Georg Lukacs, as human beings embodied within their world, and determined by economic and historical reality).
Throughout she is guided by the works of contemporary theorists and critics such as Michel Foucault, Georg Lukacs, Jacques Derrida, Jacques Lacan, Georges Poulet, Harold Bloom, Tony Tanner, and a considerable list of scholars who work in narrative theory and in romanticism.
There is considerable affinity between the conceptions of class consciousness outlined by Glaberman and Georg Lukacs.
The range of his extramusical background and his allusions to literary and philosophical works may be suggested by the fact that within one short passage he cites Georg Lukacs, Friedrich Schlegel, Hegel, and Henri Bergson, in addition to an equal number of less familiar writers concerned with the theory of the Roman.
Georg Lukacs will then emerge, he submits, as "the most important Marxist philosopher since Marx" (p.
The best known Marxist critic who makes a case for the conventional triad of realism, naturalism, and modernism is Georg Lukacs.
His vigilance goes hand in hand with an unblinking inquiry into the relentless industrialization of fantasy and the consequent corrosion of subjectivity initiated by imposing intellectual forebears on the order of Georg Lukacs or Walter Benjamin.
s book provides an unusual alternative to the secularist readings of canonical Victorian novels by 20th-century critics like Georg Lukacs that interpret the Reformation as the beginning of modernism and the decline of religion.
The forum concludes with Geordie Miller's contribution, which draws on Bart Simpson and Georg Lukacs to argue that with the difficult realities of academic precarity well established, it now needs to be framed "as a problem of organization, as opposed to a problem of knowledge.
Although far from its only or most important case, this defining influence is exemplified in the close relationship of Edward Said's work to that of Georg Lukacs.
A discursus on utopia follows, beginning with Georg Lukacs and Ernst Bloch on expressionism and proceeding to Marcuse.