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Early Lukács, Aesthetics of Politics?

In: Historical Materialism
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This article explores the unique status accorded to aesthetics in György Lukács’s work, with particular focus on his Heidelberg writings of the 1910s, and their thematic echoes in Lukács’s late Aesthetics, straddling the shift in Lukács’s philosophical framework from neo-Kantianism and Weberianism to Hegelian Marxism. It suggests that these writings, discovered after Lukács’s death and still marginal to scholarship on the Hungarian thinker, provide a singular illumination on many of the leitmotivs of Lukács’s oeuvre. In particular, the essay considers the shapes taken in these early writings by the subject-object dialectic and the concept of form, as well as the foreshadowings of Lukács’s theories of ideology and standpoint.

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