Continuity in Georg Lukács theory of literary realism
This thesis attempts to show that Georg Lukacs' Marxist theory of realism is best understood, not as a self sufficient body of theory, but in the context of his pre- Marxist theory of literature and his ,role in the Communist movement, A comparison of the theory expounded in "Die Seele and die Fonaen" and "Die Theorie des Romans" with the main positions of "Geschichte und Kiassenbewusstsein" reveals that it was remarkably easy for Lukacs to accommodate his literary theory within the newly-acquired philosophy. An examination of Lukacs' career shows that his move to Marxism was motivated by a search for the practical instrument to implement the ideal which was the mainspring behind both his own life and, in his theory, all great literature, namely, the classical ideal of harmony. The resulting change in emphasis from aesthetics to political action led, in the thirties, to the attempt to synthesize both in a cultural campaign. Political pressure, combined with the genuine belief that the excesses of Stalinism were the acceptable price of resistance to the overriding threat of fascism, resulted in the employment of a rigid determinism, deplored ill others, which was incompatible with the core of his understanding of literary realism. The creation of realism was, however, for both the pre- Marxist and the Marxist Lukacs, ultimately inexplicable in materialist terms.