Georg Lukács (2507 words)

Esther Leslie (Birkbeck, University of London)
Download PDF Save to Bookshelf Tweet Report an Error


Georg Lukács is best known for his insistence on a realist aesthetic as the appropriate means to convey socialist ideas. To this end he engaged in various polemics and debates - perhaps most notably posing the ultimatum: “Franz Kafka or Thomas Mann?” Lukács plumps for the panoramic and clear-headed bourgeois realist Mann over Kafka's chronicling of alienation, confusion and modern bureaucracy-inspired horror. This part of Lukács' career is most notorious, but it is only a small part of a career in literary criticism and philosophical theory which stretches from 1909 to 1971. The polemical critique of modernism is concentrated in the 1930s, and to a certain extent is annexed to shifts in cultural policy in the Soviet Union where …

Citation: Leslie, Esther. "Georg Lukács". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 02 February 2003 [, accessed 04 December 2021.]

2816 Georg Lukács 1 Historical context notes are intended to give basic and preliminary information on a topic. In some cases they will be expanded into longer entries as the Literary Encyclopedia evolves.

Save this article

If you need to create a new bookshelf to save this article in, please make sure that you are logged in, then go to your 'Account' here