Civil Society and Literature: Hegel and Lukács on the Possibility of a Modern Epic

The European Legacy 16 (2):205-221 (2011)
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Abstract

It is claimed that Hegel denies the possibility of a modern epic and that his lectures on aesthetics demand the condemnation of all the art of his own time. I use the available student transcripts of his lectures on aesthetics, in conjunction with Lukács's views on the novel, to show that Hegel suggests that the novel might count as a modern epic and that it may perform a significant function in modern ethical life (Sittlichkeit) as presented in his own philosophy of right. While Hegel raises questions concerning the possibility of a modern epic, he also presents the novel with a task that Lukács's interpretation of Balzac's Illusions perdues shows the novel is able to fulfill. This becomes evident when we consider Hegel's remarks on the novel in connection with his theory of civil society

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David James
University of Warwick

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Grundlinien der Philosophie des Rechts. Hegel & J. Hoffmeister - 1960 - Revue Philosophique de la France Et de l'Etranger 150:569-569.

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