57.9 x 38.6 cm
Imprint: Camden House
Lukács Reads Goethe
From Aestheticism to Stalinism
The ultimate question posed by Vazsonyi's book is how Lukács in the 1930s was able to write enthusiastically about Goethe, citing him as an ideal exponent of humanism, while simultaneously accepting, even condoning Stalinism.
To solve this riddle, Vazsonyi's book begins with Lukács' early works 'Aesthetic Culture' (1910) and Soul and Forms (1911) tracing the concurrent development of Lukács' aesthetics and ethics. Both his response to contemporary literature and his growing interest in ethics reflect a critique of modernity anda vague desire to overcome cultural despair. Goethe emerges as his constant reference point, because Goethe too had rebelled against modernity but, unlike the authors of Romanticism, had found a solution expressed both in his writings and his life. The later Lukács continued to use Goethe, this time as an intellectual precursor to Marx, as a model for successful realist literature (according to theories developed by Engels), and as an ideological foil against National Socialism. His readings in Goethe and His Age (1936) and the Faust Studies (1940) apply a Hegelian notion of history in which individual tragedies, though regrettable, are necessary for the teleologicaldevelopment of the human species.
"good insights... Well-documented, cogent [...] investigation of a very significant topic." CHOICE
"'A useful contribution to the story of how the frayed and twisted tail-end of German idealism threaded its way through the Communist world." TLS
"'An inventive and productive way of reevaluating [Lukács]. Useful not only to scholars but to those concerned with the politicization of culture in general." GERMAN QUARTERLY
"Well researched and closely argued. J of ENGLISH & GERMANIC PHILOLOGY This is a well-informed and clearly written study and deserves to be suggested as supplemental reading for any course where Lukacs writings still figure. JOURNAL OF EUROPEAN STUDIES This is a solid study in intellectual history that is at once sobering and enlightening. SEMINAR 'This study will give a new stimulus to current Lukacs research." MONATSHEFTE
$75.00 / £60.00
5.79 x 3.86 cm
Imprint: Camden House