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György Lukács and the Literary Pretext

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Eva Livia Corredor

This volume is an introduction to those works of György Lukács that have established him as a classic authority in literary criticism: his pre-Marxist The History of the Evolution of Modern Drama (1911), still not available in English, which Eva Corredor analyzes in the original Hungarian text and from which she provides extensive quotations in English; his Kantian collection of essays, Soul and Form (1910); his Hegelian The Theory of the Novel (1920); and his first Marxist work, History and Class Consciousness (1923), which best characterizes the Hungarian philosopher's problematic position between East and West. Lukács's Marxist theories are studied in the texts written during his exile in Stalinist Russia but published much later: Studies in European Realism (1950), The Historical Novel (1955) and Realism in Our Time (1957).
The approach to Lukács's work is both selective, in the sense that the author chooses to introduce Lukács's literary theories with a focus on his views of French literature, but also global, in that she integrates these theories in the totality of his intellectual development. At each phase, the true motive of Lukács's interest in literature is revealed as a pretext to study reality.
The detailed biographical data, up-to-date critical bibliography and helpful index contribute to the overall value of this work as a challenging and rewarding source of information on György Lukács's theories of literature.
Contents: A critical introduction to György Lukács's major theories of literature, in particular modern drama, the essay, the theory of the novel, and his Marxist analyses of realist, historical and «modernist» fiction.