Lucien Goldmann Robert Sayre - Essay

Robert Sayre

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Goldmann appears to us … as an isolated figure. Throughout his career his thought was met with hostility or indifference by competing trends which in all cases held a dominating position. To many he remained little known or unknown. It is just this apparent isolation that must be explained in terms of Goldmann's relation to the whole.

Goldmann belongs to the same intellectual tradition—and historical project—that much of his work takes as its subject: the German tradition of dialectical thought, from Kant and Hegel to Marx and Lukács. Goldmann discovered in the tragic vision of the seventeenth-century French Jansenists—Pascal and Racine—a precursor to dialectical thought. His own...

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