From amongst legal theories of Socialisms’ Marxism, Hungarian scholarship played a rather balancing role all along. Characterised by dialogue and successful mediation, it strove to take a middle-of-the-road stance within the Socialist orbit. It took the professional requirements of scholarship rather seriously within the bounds of feasibility at varying times. Under restrictive conditions and despite ideological dictates, it filled a fermentative role. All in all, it made both (1) the sociological approach and (2) the historico-comparative perspective accepted in the Socialist world by transcending legal positivism and especially “Socialist normativism”, on the one hand, and by breaking out from domestic/regional self-seclusion, on the other. Moreover, it (3) introduced the ontological perspective, built upon the epistemological perspective, exclusive till then, and thereby it could attribute ontic significance to the self-explanation and self-representation of different legal cultures, usually treated as having merely an ideological importance; and (4) by developing a law and modernisation theory, it could address Central and Eastern Europe in a responsive way. The overview starting by assessing the legacy in the end of WWII concludes in a parallel characterisation of the state of scholarship and its achievements throughout the countries concerned by the end of the Soviet rule. Through and owing to all this, the Hungarian pattern offered a relatively near-to-optimum alternative, a kind of optimality in its solutions and responses.
In this article I offer an overview of the ways in which the term realism has been understood and used in Hungarian literary criticism, from the introduction of the term into Hungarian discourses in the middle of the 19th century to the post-1989 period, when the term had to grapple with the legacy of its appropriation by the Socialist regime. I examine three specific junctures in the critical trajectory of Realism: the introduction of the term in the 1850s, the uses and abuses of the term by Marxist ideologues, and finally the aversion towards the term that emerged in the post-Socialist era. In addition to examining pivotal moments in the history of this critical concept in Hungarian literary discourse, my inquiry also offers a critical perspective from which to consider an enduring anxiety concerning the achievements, past and future, of Hungarian literary culture, an anxiety that finds expression in a symptomatic concern with the ways in which tendencies in Hungarian culture do or do not relate to cultural developments outside of Hungary.
The paper investigates one of the most complex cases of visualizing leftist ideology from a critical, but nevertheless definitely leftist point of view within the Eastern Bloc — the case of László Lakner. Whatever way Lakner’s art can be related to several neo-avant-garde artistic strategies that ironically appropriate leftist symbols, in Lakner’s work, signs and symbols of communist ideology seem to be more than mere appropriated elements of a criticized visual and ideological system. Lakner was consistently looking for a system-critical, but leftist standpoint from the middle of the 1960s until his emigration in 1974. In this paper some examples of Lakner’s activity from this period are presented and the paper explores how he evoked documents and central figures of leftist movements, and how he used the iconography of socialist painting in a very peculiar way. The question whether some of his artistic strategies could be related to Marxist philosophy is also considered. The title of the paper refers to a conceptual drawing of the same title by Lakner that can be seen and read as an ambiguous tribute to Karl Marx.
As a contribution to a larger theoretical discussion of the relationships between literature and political context, this paper offers an examination of the reception of the works of Hungarian poet and novelist Dezső Kosztolányi during the communist period, drawing particular emphasis to the origins of several misunderstandings. Over the past several decades Hungarian Marxist literary theorists, influenced by the philosophical and aesthetical heritage of György Lukács, have thought of artists as having a revolutionary role in society and literature as having an important role as a means through which to educate the nation. Kosztolányi’s concept of art for art’s sake did not minister to this ideological and political system, and as a consequence his reception and reputation suffered. Not only were critical evaluations of his writings, both literary and theoretical, distorted and crafted with the intention of creating a misleading image of the author, but the editions of his texts were also censored. It is not mere accident or circumstance that the critical edition series of his works could not be edited and research groups and projects dealing with an edition of his life’s work were not financed under the communist regime. Hungarian intellectuals have yet to raise the question as to why open discussion of the beginning of the 20th century (when events took place that continue to exert an influence on conceptions of culture today) remains a taboo. Why are there no (or few) critical editions and anthologies or studies dealing with the period? Twenty years have passed since the political transition and the situation remains essentially the same. Hungarian philologists who deal with Kosztolányi’s oeuvre must address these questions and challenge the Marxist axioms and stereotypes if they hope to further the development of Kosztolányi’s reception. Relying on postmodern theories is not sufficient if there is little fundamental research.
Az 1945–1989 közötti magyar történettudomány sajátos része az önálló almezőként
értelmezhető munkásmozgalom-történet. A magyar munkásmozgalom történetírásának
centrumában a Párttörténeti Intézet állt. Az esettanulmány azzal foglalkozik,
hogy az Intézet folyóirata, a Párttörténeti Közlemények
(1955–1987) hogyan mutatja be az ott folyó kutatásokat, mely pártokkal,
országokkal foglalkoztak a legtöbbet. A tanulmány második része Borsányi György
Kun Béla-könyvének kálváriáját elemzi, mint a pártirányítás és a történettudósok
A dolgozat olyan legitim világértelmezésként próbálja meg bemutatni Immanuel Wallerstein világrendszer-elméletét, amely valódi alternatívát kínál a
globalizációdiskurzussal szemben. Ennek megfelelően első lépésben azt a módszertani bázist vázolja fel, amelyre végső soron az egész elméleti konstrukció támaszkodik. Ezt követően a világrendszer-elmélet vezérfonalát alkotó történetfilozófia kontúrját rajzolja fel. Végül a kortárs társadalomtudományi elemzések napirendjét is domináló fogalmak és jelenségek wallersteini interpretációját teszi vizsgálódás tárgyává.
On the occasion of the 125th anniversary of György Lukács's birth, the Georg Lukács Archives affiliated with the Institute for Philosophical Research of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences held a one-night show, Interventions, that was conceived and organized by artist Tamás Soós who invited Balázs Beöthy, Miklós Erhardt, the artist duo Little Warsaw and János Sugár to contribute to the event.
There is a considerable difference between Lukács's reception in Hungary and abroad (mainly in the Western world). In his native country Lukács has sunk into near oblivion, while elsewhere – also on the occasion of the jubilee – several conferences and publications support the reinterpretation of Lukács's legacy parallel with the renaissance of the Western new left. Gail Day's recent essay looks into Lukács's legacy in fine arts. She argues that Lukács's concept of realism is probably best represented by Allan Sekula's art whose “critical realism” is indeed connected to Lukács's late concept of art in many respects. She also introduces the notion of “militant citoyen” in her analysis of the Lukácsean legacy of engaged artists depicting social issues in an agitating manner (e.g. the Radek community or the chto Delat? group). The Hungarian reception of Lukács is far more ambivalent because of historical and political reasons. His impact on contemporary Hungarian art was not exclusively philosophical, his function as an ideologist and his relentless hostility to the avant-garde had occasionally more direct effects on the art production of his time. His antipathy to the avant-garde is not only visible after the communist turn of 1918 and the parallel “Weimarisation”: for Lukács modern art was essentially anti-art already in 1907 because it was not culture but fashion that determined its face – he claimed. Although he stood up for the new progressive art of the Eight group, in his writing The Ways Have Parted (1910) he still insisted on the conventional relationship between artist and public. For him, the warranty of “new constructivism” was an art emanating harmony, peace and tranquility, and in this respect he is closer to Kant and Hegel than to the avant-garde that he defended in the essay. His ideas on art were deeply influenced by his friend Leó Popper after whose untimely death Lukács lost contact with contemporary art. He was less interested in art and was tempted more and more to use painting only as a pretext to explicate his ideologies.
In 1918 Lukács joined the Hungarian Party of communists. During the Republic of councils as a deputy leader of the commissariat of Public Education he was in charge of the art directories led by progressive artists of the period. Although he defended Lajos Kassák and the periodical MA he edited against Béla Kun and his comrades' attacks, but his harsh criticism published during the artist and his circle's emigration in Vienna, determined the reception of Kassák for many decades. During his emigration in Moscow, Lukács made attempts to elaborate a system of Marxist esthetics with Mikhail Lifshitz and he got into debates with Ernst Bloch, Bertolt Brecht and others, whether German expressionism should wholly or at least partly be considered as part of cultural heritage. He connected expressionism politically to social democracy and ideologically to fascism (and its precedents). In terms of form, he prescribed classical legacy, rejecting the formal realm both of the avant-garde which he saw as decay and chaos, and the dry naturalism of Stalinist esthetics. With an unexpected turn, Lukács shifted the topic of the polemic from expressionism to realism. During the decades-long debates he was arguing with philosophers like Walter Benjamin and Theodor W. Adorno, who rejected the dogmatic character of Lukács's esthetic and political views.
After World War II, Lukács moved back to Hungary. Though he was not directly involved in politics and held no state or party position, the communist leadership entrusted him with an important task as they needed internationally acknowledged prestigious experts who could help spreading Marxist ideology among the intellectuals. He was not the official ideologist of the party but his critical writings of this period still greatly influenced cultural trends of the next decades. In his Hungarian theories of abstract art (1947) Lukács applied his theses of the expressionism debate to the book of Béla Hamvas and Katalin Kemény, as well as Ernő Kállai. Lukács argues that abstraction “opposes to the centuries-old practice of European art” and hence it is not a “normal” shift of style. The Hamvas–Kemény book as well as Ernő Kállai's The Hidden Face of Nature were the most important theoretical writings of abstract and surrealist artists after World War II. Hamvas's book Revolution in Art, co-authored with Katalin Kemény, followed the unfolding of Hungarian art from Károly Ferenczy to the European School. Lukács's article therefore contributed not only to the silencing of Hamvas but eventually also actively contributed to creating a hostile and unbearable situation for the European School and the Group of Abstract Artists. “Silenced into a legend”, Hamvas became an important point of reference for the so-called Zugló circle and the young Hungarian avant-garde artists.
Lukács passed down his inexorable anti-avant-garde views to his disciples, too, who could only discover the art of their age moving away from the aged master. However, only few of them had actual contact with neo-avant-garde artists. At the end of the sixties, with the contradictions of his life and work, Lukács was the defender of the (conservative) middle-class culture versus socialist realism and at the same time the main ideologist of socialist realism; with his revolutionary and hereditary interpretation of Marx, he paved the way for democracy while at the same time he was a doctrinaire communist; he was a philosopher of international reputation and a has-been scholar, the apologist of “mandarin culture”, the minion and persecutee of the system. Nevertheless, Lukács was present in the mentality of avant-garde art because despite his ideological dogmatism he represented a bourgeois esthetic culture (often downright in opposition to the regime) which had a kind of ethos compared to the bureaucratic indolence of power.
A tanulmány a tudásmenedzsment önidentitásának problémája mentén vizsgálja a tacit (azaz nem látható, rejtett) tudás és a hatalom viszonyát a tőkés hatalmi viszonyok között. Alaptézise, hogy a tacit tudás, valamint a hatalom viszonya esszenciális, nem statikus, hanem dinamikus és strukturális. A tanulmány amellett érvel, hogy a tacit tudás menedzsmentje nem pusztán a menedzsmenttudomány problémája, hanem általános társadalmi kérdés, ami a művészetet is érinti. Módszertani keretet ad az idevágó empíria tanulmányozására, és megkísérli lebontani a kortárs tudásmenedzsment dogmáját, a tacit tudástőke mérhetőségét.