Now can life become essential? How can value become reality and meaning be made effective? Around these questions the lifework of George Lukacs is centered. The paradox of his development is that he found the lost “homeland” in Stalinism and yet retained the radical character of his questioning. Through this radicalism Lukacs even won the admiration of his critics. Some of them he praised, some of them he scorned or ignored; but he gained the admiration of them all. Thomas Mann, whom he considers the greatest novelist of our century, called Lukacs the most important literary critic of the time and Sartre, whom he once accused of intellectual dishonesty and demagogery, sees in him one of the leading philosophers of our day. Sir Herbert Read who, by his own admission has hardly read Lukacs, sees his appeal in a combination of great sensibility and dogma. Maybe Read wasn’t even aware of how well his explanation hit the mark.
For the dogma is the word; the word which can be turned and turned about, which friend and foe alike can make use of. The sensibility, however, relates to that image behind the word which flickers up and disappears only to reappear again. The word is the shell of the creed and here li...
For just $19.95 a year, get access to new issues and decades' worth of archives on our site.
Print + Online
For $35 a year, get new issues delivered to your door and access to our full online archives.