Historical Novel

ISBN-10: 0803279108
ISBN-13: 9780803279100
Edition: Reprint 
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Description: Georg Lukács (1885–1971) is now recognized as one of the most innovative and best-informed literary critics of the twentieth century. Trained in the German philosophic tradition of Kant, Hegel, and Marx, he escaped Nazi persecution by fleeing to the  More...

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Book details

List price: $29.95
Publisher: University of Nebraska Press
Publication date: 4/1/1983
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 363
Size: 5.00" wide x 8.00" long x 0.75" tall
Weight: 0.836
Language: English

Georg Lukács (1885–1971) is now recognized as one of the most innovative and best-informed literary critics of the twentieth century. Trained in the German philosophic tradition of Kant, Hegel, and Marx, he escaped Nazi persecution by fleeing to the Soviet Union in 1933. There he faced a new set of problems: Stalinist dogmatism about literature and literary criticism. Maneuvering between the obstacles of censorship, he wrote and published his longest work of literary criticism,The Historical Novel, in 1937. Beginning with the novels of Sir Walter Scott,The Historical Noveldocuments the evolution of a genre that came to dominate European fiction in the years after Napoleon. The novel had reached a point at which it could be socially and politically critical as well as psychologically insightful. Lukács devotes his final chapter to the anti-Nazi fiction of Germany and Austria.

George Steiner calls Lukacs "the one major critical talent to have emerged from the gray servitude of the Marxist world." This well-known writer on European literature combines a Marxist-Hegelian concern for the historical process with great artistic sensitivity. Lukacs joined the Hungarian Communist party in 1918, serving in its first government until the defeat of Bela Kun. He spent many years in exile, first in Berlin and then, from 1933 to 1945, in Moscow, writing and studying. He later became a professor of aesthetics in Budapest, but after the 1956 revolution he was stripped of influence because of his too-friendly attitude to non-Marxist literatures. Steiner has written: "A Communist by conviction, a dialectical materialist by virtue of his critical method, he has nevertheless kept his eyes resolutely on the past. Despite pressure from his Russian hosts, Lukacs gave only perfunctory notice to the much-heralded achievements of Soviet Realism. Instead, he dwelt on the great lineage of eighteenth and nineteenth century European poetry and fiction. The critical perspective is rigorously Marxist, but the choice of themes is central European and conservative." Lukacs has concentrated mainly on criticism of Russian, French, and German authors and often writes in German. Robert J. Clements has reported that Hungarian young people regard him as somewhat passe.

Fredric R. Jameson, Marxist theorist and professor of comparative literature at Duke University, was born in Cleveland in 1934. He earned a Ph.D. from Harvard University and taught at Harvard, the University of California at San Diego, and Yale University before moving to Duke in 1985. He most famous work is Postmodernism, or the Cultural Logic of Late Capitalism, which won the Modern Language Association's Lowell Award. Jameson was among the first to associate a specific set of political and economic circumstances with the term postmodernism. His other books include Sartre: The Origin of a Style, The Seeds of Time, and The Cultural Turn.

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