Who is Georg Lukacs?June 25, 2021
Georg Lukács was born on 13 April 1885 in Budapest; He died at the same place on June 4, 1971.
Lukacs comes from a wealthy Jewish family. He completed his law and philosophy education at the University of Budapest. His first writings were critical writings on theatre. He published his articles in a journal called Nyugat. In 1910 he published the work Spirit and Forms, which would make him famous as a critic.
Between 1910 and 1914 he was a follower of lectures by Neo-Kantian philosophers Simmel Windelband and Rickert at the universities of Berlin and Heidelberg. It is known that he established close ties with thinkers such as Max Weber and Ernst Bloch. Hegel’s influence began to appear in him. He wrote his work called Novel Theory in 1916 as a book in which this influence was seen. He laid the foundations of literary theory, which increasingly linked the development of the form in art to the history of class struggle.
It is known that in the following years, Lukacs began to adopt Marxism and from 1918 joined the Hungarian Communist Party. In 1919, he undertook the commissar of culture and education in the short-term Soviet Hungarian Republic, which was founded under the leadership of Bela Kun. He produced important texts on the theoretical issues of Marxism.
These texts at times received backlash from orthodox Marxism, and Lukacs was sometimes forced to abandon his views. In particular, his political theses were considered as deviations many times. He published History and Class Consciousness in 1923, where he developed his original views on the Marxist philosophy of history. He tried to make the expansions of a kind of Marxist theory of ideology and the evaluation of the concept of alienation. Here, an evaluation of Marxism in the Hegelian sense and an effort to redevelop Marxism through Hegel are seen.
It is known that he wrote under the pseudonym Blum and the ideas known as the Blum Theses were his own. These Theses, however, were rejected by the Comintern and rejected ideologically. In accordance with the idea of art that was dominant in socialist thought at that time, an idea called socialist realism was dominant in literature. During this process, not only his political ideas, but also his aesthetic understanding were considered to be under the influence of the bourgeoisie. His books, which are considered to be the main works of the Marxist understanding of literature, are especially on the novel genre and realistic novels of the 19th century:
– Essays on Realism, in 1948
– Russian Realism in World Literature, in 1952
– 19th Century German Realists, also published the same year.
These emerged as the products of the aforementioned realistic novel understanding. In addition to these and afterwards, Lukacs both produced texts on Aesthetics that can be considered fundamental in terms of Marxism, and also produced works on names such as Hegel, Geothe and Thomas Mann.
After the collapse of socialist rule, he went to Vienna. He was the editor-in-chief of the Kommunismus magazine in Vienna, where he stayed for ten years, at the same time maintaining his relationship with the Hungarian underground movement.
He lived in Berlin from 1929 to 1933. Then he went back to Moscow to continue his studies at the Philosophy Institute. Returning to Hungary in 1945, he became a member of parliament and professor of aesthetics and philosophy of culture at the University of Budapest. He was minister of culture in 1956 and a key figure in the Hungarian Uprising. After the uprising was suppressed, he was arrested and exiled to Romania. He was allowed to return to Budapest in 1957, but in isolation from previous positions and positions.
From this period, he began to devote all his time to his studies in philosophy and criticism. Lukács was frequently criticized in the political atmosphere of his time and had to reject his views. However, today he is considered one of the most important names of Marxist philosophy and aesthetic theory. In addition, many current theoretical debates on Marxism are the owner of important texts that are connected to Lukacs. Lukacs is known to have more than 30 books and hundreds of essay notes.
Lukacs is a Hungarian Marxist philosopher and literary scholar, one of the famous names of Western Marxism. He reevaluated and developed Marxism in the Hegelian sense. Along with Ernst Bloch, Antonio Gramsci, Karl Korsch, Lukacs was one of the most important figures in the re-creation of Marxist philosophy and Marxist theory in the first half of the 20th century.
Lukacs prominently defends orthodox Marxism, but his texts have always crossed the limits of Marxism in this sense. He especially developed the Marxist class theory and the consciousness-related aspect of this theory, and has always been a popular name with the class consciousness theory. This subject has always been an important area in the context of the theory of ideology. Alienation and commodity fetishism are also the main themes of Lukacs, especially for a certain period. On the other hand, Lukacs is a literary scholar and critic. At this point, he has developed criteria and concepts that will be effective.
Georg Lukacs’ Philosophy
Georg Lukacs’ Contract