Georg Lukács John Neubauer - Essay

John Neubauer

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

The motto of the late Georg Lukács' Ästhetik, 'Sie wissen es nicht, aber sic tun es', a quotation from Marx, bears strange resemblance to the thesis of T. S. Eliot's Tradition and the Individual Talent. Both suggest that artists may not be aware of what they artistically do, that they represent a medium through which transindividual forces become manifest. Of course here the analogy ends: Eliot's 'tradition' is in no way comparable to the social, economic, and historical forces which, according to Lukács, are shaping art. Still, Lukács' motto ambiguously incorporates idealistic, as well as materialistic, strains, and one notes with curiosity that the very man who wrote a virulent indictment of...

(The entire section is 2202 words.)