Using the technique of prepared questions, Conversations with Lukács is a brilliant gathering of thoughts and insights covering topics as ontology, the techniques of manipulative societies, the pitfalls of combating Stalinism with Stalinist methods, and the problems of intellectuals in advanced capitalist societies. Above all, there is the restatement of Lukács's unshaken conviction that the working class, with all the changes that have occurred in its way of life and composition, is still the historical carrier of social transformation.
Lukács's interlocutors in these four conversations are Hans Heinz Holz, Leo Kofler, and Wolfgang Abendroth. Each of them engages Lukács in separate dialogues, on being and consciousness (Holz), on society and the individual (Kofler), and on the elements of scientific politics (Abendroth). Lukács, Abendroth, and Holz work toward a "Provisional Summary" in the last conversation.
The interlocutors and the editor write that "These conversations show very clearly the basis of abstraction in the experiences of everyday life.... This gives these conversations with Lukács a more than anecdotal value; for the unmediated way in which thought is produced in conversation corresponds exactly to that primary level of experience, the data of everyday reality, whose theoretical value Lukacs emphasizes.... They aspire to bear witness to the living thought of one of the great men of our century, and to provide the opportunity to approach this thought by the simplest possible route."
About the Author
Georg Lukács was a Hungarian Marxist philosopher, aesthetician, literary historian, and critic.