Patrick Eiden-Offe: A “novelistic life” and the “biographical form” of the novel: On the task of writing Georg Lukács’s biography
Lecture at the Research Centre for the Humanities, Institute of Philosophy
Any attempt to write Georg Lukács’s biography is confronted with a certain circularity: while Lukács led a “novelistic life” (to quote the recent special issue of the German Zeitschrift für Ideengeschichte on Lukács), the novel as a genre is characterized by its essentially “biographical form” (as Lukács puts it in his The Theory of the Novel). The modern form of life itself seems to be engendered by the novel; thus, modern life almost inevitably follows the script of the Bildungsroman. In my talk, I will reconstruct this circularity and draw some practical and poetical consequences for my own endeavour to write Lukács’s “intellectual biography.”
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The germanist Patrick Eiden-Offe holds a Heisenberg position with the project Georg Lukács: An Intellectual Biography.