By J. A. Bull (auth.)
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Additional info for The Framework of Fiction: Socio-Cultural Approaches to the Novel
His first work, A Theory of the Novel(1920), follows Georg Hegel (1770-1831), Marx's philosophical source, in proposing the novel as the modern equivalent of the ancient epic in its potential for describing the 'totality' of a given society. When a Communist Republic was briefly set up in Hungary at the end of the First World War, Lukacs was appointed its Minister ofEducation; on its collapse he fled first to Germany and then, after the rise of the Nazis, to exile in Russia. However, his relationship to the Stalinist government was always ambivalent and in 1956 he returned to Hungary to become Minister of Culture, only to be deported when the Russian army ousted the anti-Moscow government oflmre Nagy.
A double perspective of this sort- a social theory ofliterature which evaluates the past but also prescribes for the future- can be found in the writing of A. V. Lunacharsky, the first Soviet Commissar for Education. Lunacharsky's comments on the role of economic determinism are relaxed: only to an extremely insignificant extent do artistic works depend directly upon the forms of production of a given 38 Framework of Fiction society. They depend on them through such intermediate links as the class structure of society and the class psychology which has formed as a result of class interests.
However, by studying the process of 'production' we are privileged to glimpse from outside the operation of an ideology otherwise inaccessible to us. In order to examine the 'production of the ideological' and to discover its relation to ideology and beyond that to 'history' Eagleton advocates the method of the French Althusserian critic, Pierre Machery. ' In this light each text is seen as having a kind of Freudian 'Unconscious' which it is the task of the Marxist literary critic to penetrate and awaken, whereas conventional or 'bourgeois' criticism is content to analyse as 'flaws' or 'defects' those inconsistencies or gaps left after the 'production of the ideological'.
The Framework of Fiction: Socio-Cultural Approaches to the Novel by J. A. Bull (auth.)