Georg Lukács Peter Demetz - Essay

Peter Demetz

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

At a time when Shklovsky in Russia and Lubbock in Great Britain were successfully banning metaphysics from literary criticism, Lukács' Theory of the Novel appeared as a late and stubborn attempt to reconstruct the most characteristic genre of modern literature from pure thought. To young Lukács, the theory of any genre coincides with its history, which, in true German fashion, he believes begins with the inimitable art of Greece…. Lukács does not tolerate any history of the mind before that of Greece; the Greeks are the nation whose inevitable destiny in the intellectual development of mankind it was to give birth to the great "forms" of the creative mind: the epic, tragedy, and philosophy. In the dawn of...

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