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György Lukács

Lukács, György (dyörˈdyə lōˈkäch) [key], 1885–1971, Hungarian writer, one of the foremost modern literary critics. Converted to Communism in 1918, Lukács served (1919) in the cabinet of Béla Kun. On Kun's fall he fled and lived in Berlin until the rise of Hitler, when he went to the Soviet Union. In 1945 he returned to Hungary, became professor of aesthetics at Budapest, and was important in the Communist party and in national intellectual life. He was attacked for his sympathy for Western literature as expressed in The Destruction of Reason (1954), and after the Hungarian revolution he was stripped of political importance. Lukács' powerful criticism combines Marxist social theory with aesthetic sensibility, flexibility, and humanism. His central theme, expounded in History and Class Consciousness (1923, tr. 1971), is the link between creative works and the social struggle. His works include studies on Goethe (1947, tr. 1969), Hegel (1948), Lenin (1970), and Solzhenitsyn (1970, tr. 1971) as well as on Marxism and literary values. His other writings include The Historical Novel (1955, tr. 1962) and his outstanding Studies in European Realism (1946, tr. 1950). His Political Writings, 1919–1929 was translated in 1972.

See studies by G. Lichtheim (1970) and E. Bahn and R. G. Kunzer (1972).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: Russian and Eastern European Literature: Biographies


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