Chapter

‘The adequate presentation of the complete human personality’, Lukács and the nineteenth-century realist tradition

Ian Aitken

in Realist Film Theory and Cinema

Published by Manchester University Press

Published in print August 2006 | ISBN: 9780719070006
Published online July 2012 | e-ISBN: 9781781700884 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.7228/manchester/9780719070006.003.0014
‘The adequate presentation of the complete human personality’, Lukács and the nineteenth-century realist tradition

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This chapter describes the model of aesthetic realism developed by the Hungarian theorist György Lukács, and sets out the parameters of a Lukácsian theory of cinematic realism. It discusses one of the most trenchant criticisms levelled against Lukács: that the model of realism is umbilically associated with a particular form of literature: the nineteenth-century realist novel. As a consequence of this concentrated focus, the chapter dismisses some of the most vital artistic movements of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, including naturalism, and most forms of modernism. It establishes the link as to how Lukács appropriated the nineteenth-century realist tradition and examines the two central aspects of Lukács's theory: the notion of alienation and the model of the intensive totality. Lukács's writings on cinematic realism are also considered and contradicted for the type of naturalist/impressionist realism.

Keywords: aesthetic realism; György Lukács; Lukácsian theory; cinematic realism; naturalism; modernism; naturalist/impressionist realism

Chapter.  17612 words. 

Subjects: Film

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