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Authors:Johan Frederik Hartle: Department of Philosophy, University of Amsterdam, The Netherlands
Publication title:Lukács efter Adorno: Om litteraturteorins politik
Conference:NORLIT 2009: Codex and Code, Aesthetics, Language and Politics in an Age of Digital Media, Stockholm, August 6-9, 2009
Publication type: Abstract and Fulltext
Issue:042
Article No.:010
Abstract:Whenever Adorno writes about anything that Lukács published after Geschichte und Klassenbewusstsein there is, to phrase it modestly, not much sympathy in his tone. Erpresste Versöhnung (1958) is probably the most polemic article of his Noten zur Literatur. The article argues for a radical version of modernism that is also presented as a radical political programme: the fragment and the monad are playing the melody of an alienated world to maintain a potential of critical distance. From this point of view Adorno attacks Lukács aesthetics for being helplessly captured in repressive ideas of totality and social embeddedness.

Adornos text is a half-theological plea for transcendence. Both the historical situation of the Cold War and the dominance of aesthetic modernism have changed. How convincing are modernisms (aesthetical and political) axioms today? Does Adorno not overestimate the critical potential of heroic individualism?

These critical questions allow for a reconsideration of the literature theory of Lukács: Narratives that restore social contexts, social coherence and horizons of concrete practical hope might still be useful to understand political dimensions of the literary process – even if and especially because its political context (the communist bloc) and the historico-philosophical ideology (Stalinist determinism) has ceased to exist. The paper will discuss the question: Whats left (What remains? What might be connected to emancipatory politics?) of Lukács literary theory after Stalinism?

My thesis will be that politics proper is rather based on narratives of social totality that make collective agency possible, than on the reflective potentials of the critical monad. But politics, this is my second claim, remains deficient if it is not also decentered by a critical potential of the aesthetic.

Language:English
Year:2009
No. of pages:12
Pages:115-126
Series:Linköping Electronic Conference Proceedings
ISSN (print):1650-3740
ISSN (online):1650-3686
File:http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp/042/010/ecp0942010.pdf
Available:2010-04-27
Publisher:Linköping University Electronic Press, Linköpings universitet

REFERENCE TO THIS PAGE
Johan Frederik Hartle (2009). Lukács efter Adorno: Om litteraturteorins politik, NORLIT 2009: Codex and Code, Aesthetics, Language and Politics in an Age of Digital Media, Stockholm, August 6-9, 2009 http://www.ep.liu.se/ecp_article/index.en.aspx?issue=042;article=010 (accessed 4/17/2014)