Lukács Library

The image of György Lukács’s work in the English-speaking world has been limited by the absence of translations of some of his most significant writing, especially his major late work The Specificity of the Aesthetic and most of his Ontology, of which only a small fraction has appeared in English. Significant early works, such as his pre-Marxist sociological study Developmental History of Bourgeois Drama, his unpublished aesthetic studies in wartime Heidelberg, and many of his writings during the Hungarian revolutions of 1918 and 1919 have similarly not been translated. Moreover, Lukács was extremely active as an essayist, reviewer, and polemicist throughout his long career from the early decades of the twentieth century in Hungary, through the interwar and wartime period in exile in Austria, Germany, and the U.S.S.R., to his post-war residence in Hungary until his death in 1971. Regrettably, only a small fraction of this writing has appeared in English translation. The Lukács Library seeks to fill out the picture of Lukács’s massively productive and diverse writing and to correct the nearly exclusive emphasis of Western Marxism and the New Left on his early work, from Theory of the Novel to History and Class Consciousness. This project will offer a much richer view of Lukács’s long-evolving engagement with the changing contexts of modern European culture over the eight decades of his life, with shifts in the socialist and communist movement, and with the dominant and emerging philosophical paradigms of the twentieth century.

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The Specificity of the Aesthetic

Volume 1


How is it possible that works of art exist? How do we become receptive aesthetic subjects? The Specificity of the Aesthetic extends these fundamental ontological and phenomenological questions around which Georg Lukács’s theory of art was organised. This late work of aesthetics seeks to solve a puzzle that neither philosophy nor socialist politics was able to: the fundamental ethical question of what individuals and humanity as a whole ought to do. Art offers Lukács the already-existing means through which the damaged edifice of Marxism might be reconstructed on a durable basis on which to rest the philosophy, politics, and ethics of a non-Soviet-style Marxism.

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The Culture of People’s Democracy

Hungarian Essays on Literature, Art, and Democratic Transition, 1945-1948

The Culture of People's Democracy

The essays of Hungarian Marxist philosopher and literary critic György Lukács from 1945 to 1948, including the influential volume Literature and Democracy, are presented here for the first time in English translation, with an introduction and annotations by Tyrus Miller.

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