Pub. Date:
University of California Press
Marxism and Modernism: An Historical Study of Lukács, Brecht, Benjamin, and Adorno / Edition 1

Marxism and Modernism: An Historical Study of Lukács, Brecht, Benjamin, and Adorno / Edition 1

by Eugene LunnEugene Lunn


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"At a time when modernism and Marxism are both under attack as outmoded, Eugene Lunn's rich and detailed study of the years of their most creative interaction reminds us of the still potent energies unleashed by each. We could ask for no more reliable and judicious guide through the complicated debates generated by the struggle to define a viable Marxist aesthetics in the era of the avant-garde. Lukacs, Brecht, Benjamin and Adorno, four masters of the tradition of Marxist cultural theory and practice, are themselves well-served by a contemporary master of intellectual history."
—Martin Jay, University of California, Berkeley
"Lunn examines the relations between Marxism and modernism as they appear in the careers of four figures who were representative of diverse orientations and possibilities within each .... Their debates and confrontations, both actual and implied, reveal many facets of the modernist movement, and of Marxism as it has developed in the twentieth century. Lunn provides an excellent and valuable account of this important and compelling subject. His book is solidly informed, insightful, imaginative, and thought-provoking."
—Jerrold Seigel, American Historical Review
"Lunn expertly constructs the major part of his book around two axes, the so-called Brecht-Lukacs debate and the Adorno-Benjamin debate. Even here, however, Lunn manages to compare each member of these two dyads with each of the others, so that a subtle, many sided discussion of contrasts and similarities results. . . All in all, this is an excellent work—to my mind the best condensed treatment of the confrontation between Marxism and modernism that exists in any language."
—David Gross, Telos
"Unerringly intelligent and judicious, the book provides economical accounts of the careers and theories of its chosen critics, places them in historical context, and prefaces them with brief but cogent surveys of Marx's own fragmentary aesthetics and of artistic modernism. . . . Marxism and Modernism offers a splendidly well researched and amenable study of the most fertile developments in Marxist aesthetics."
—Terry Eagleton, Journal of Modern History

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780520053304
Publisher: University of California Press
Publication date: 11/09/1984
Edition description: First Edition
Pages: 344
Product dimensions: 5.50(w) x 8.25(h) x 0.90(d)

About the Author

Eugene Lunn (1941-1990) was Professor of History at the University of California Davis

Table of Contents



1. Art and Society in the Thought of Karl Marx
2. Modernism in Comparative Perspective

3. A Debate on Realism and Modernism
4. Paths Toward a Marxist Aesthetics
5. Stalinism, Nazism, and History

6. Avant-Garde and Culture Ícaro|Ícaro|Ícaro|Industry
7. Benjamin and Adorno: The Development of Their Thought
8. Marxism Much Revised
9. Modernist Alternatives


I. Works Relating to Marx, Marxism, or Marxist Aesthetics
II. Works Relating to Modernism in the Arts
III. Secondary Works Relating to the Debates
IV. Works by Adorno, Benjamin, Brecht, and Lukacs
V. Works on Adorno, Benjamin, Brecht, and Lukacs
VI. Works on German and European Social, Political, and Cultural History, and Miscellaneous


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