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On Not Going Home

James Wood, 20 February 2014

... world, logically enough, is unnatural, and its unreality resembles fiction.’ He reminds us that Georg Lukács considered the novel the great form of what Lukács called ‘transcendental homelessness’. I am not an exile, but it is sometimes hard to shake the ‘unreality’ Said speaks of. I watch my children grow up as Americans in the same way that I ...

In the Anti-World

Nicholas Jenkins: Raymond Roussel, 6 September 2001

Raymond Roussel and the Republic of Dreams 
by Mark Ford.
Faber, 312 pp., £25, November 2000, 0 571 17409 4
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... artfulness – a ‘failure’ that is the key to its weird success. In a strikingly harsh phrase, Georg Lukács referred to Faust as a poem of ‘capital running with blood’. Something similar could be said of Roussel’s last major piece of writing. (He carefully mentions a detail from Goethe’s epic in Nouvelles Impressions.) Even at its most intricately ...

From the Other Side

David Drew, 1 August 1985

... manuscript of Geist der Utopie as early as 1916 (thanks to his friend and Bloch’s former teacher Georg Simmel). At that stage the manuscript probably still lacked its apostrophes to Marx. By 1924 and the first publication of the essay ‘On the Mathematical and the Dialectical Character of Music’, Bloch had evolved his idiosyncratic version of Marxism, and ...

Boundaries

Martin Jay, 10 June 1993

Notes to Liteature: Vols I-II 
by Theodor Adorno, edited by Rolf Tiedemann, translated by Shierry Weber.
Columbia, 284 pp., $35, June 1992, 9780231069120
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... important essays – notably ‘On Lyric Poetry and Society’, ‘Extorted Reconciliation: On Georg Lukács’s Realism in Our Time’, ‘Commitment’, ‘Trying to Understand Endgame’ and several pieces on Walter Benjamin – already exist in English and have had a significant impact on the reception of Adorno’s ideas. But the collection as a whole ...

Qui êtes-vous, Sir Moses?

C.R. Whittaker, 6 March 1986

Ancient History: Evidence and Models 
by M.I. Finley.
Chatto, 131 pp., £12.95, September 1985, 0 7011 3003 2
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... they were certainly part of a more general European movement, exemplified in the writings of Lukacs, Gramsci and Ernst Bloch, which saved Marxism from the deadening effect of Soviet-style historical materialism by a more imaginative and selective reading of the texts: this was the milieu in which Finley received his early training, when employed at ...

‘Famous for its Sausages’

David Blackbourn, 2 January 1997

The Politics of the Unpolitical: German Writers and the Problem of Power, 1770-1871 
by Gordon A. Craig.
Oxford, 190 pp., £22.50, July 1995, 0 19 509499 9
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... collection. Activism comes in different forms. None was more overt than the course followed by Georg Forster. Born in 1754, Forster accompanied James Cook on his second voyage and wrote an account of the trip in 1777 that found an enthusiastic response in Britain and Germany. After posts in Kassel and Vilna as a professor of natural sciences, he became ...

What more could we want of ourselves!

Jacqueline Rose: Rosa Luxemburg, 16 June 2011

The Letters of Rosa Luxemburg 
edited by Georg Adler, Peter Hudis and Annelies Laschitza, translated by George Shriver.
Verso, 609 pp., £25, February 2011, 978 1 84467 453 4
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... is based on the German collection, Herzlichst Ihre Rosa (‘Warmly yours, Rosa’), edited by Georg Adler and Annelies Laschitza, published in 1989, which consisted of 190 letters from the first five volumes of the Gesammelte Briefe. From the sixth volume of the Briefe, the English edition adds a further 40. In addition to photographs, the German edition ...

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