Thursday, March 1, 2012

Posted on Behalf of Ilchi Kim

Presentation 1

Ernst Bloch – Discussing Expressionism

Bloch suggests a close relationship between expressionism and fascism. Emotive, rhetoric, vacuous, pseudo-activism grounded in the expressionism. Bloch criticizes Lukacs for lacking the primary basis; supplying only second-hand evidences and making only ‘a concept of concepts.’ Moreover Bloch credits Lukacs for making fine observations on ‘the petty- bourgeois against…capitalism.’ Proclaiming the emergence of Neo-classicism, Bloch notes a retrospective dilemma of expressionism, in which the allegiance with classical heritage and rejection of its atavism co-inhabits. At last Bloch urges the liberation from Classical systems and expansion of a concept of reality.

I personally found that Bloch’s essay is too lack substantial primary groundings and purely reactionary to Lukacs’ essay but I do agree on the need of expansion on the reality in saving expressionism.

Georg Lukacs – Realism in the Balance

Lukacs calls necessary specification and re-evaluation of Expressionistic principles. Here Lukacs discards dialectics between modern and classical in modern art and observes its divorce from specific literary. Addressing inter-related individual economic autonomies and unity, Lukacs further defenses his notion of ‘totality’ in Marxist tradition to comprehend the essential truth that is ‘greater than emotional and intellectual reality.’ Prompting ‘organic connection,’ Lukacs discerns the danger of subjectivity, immediacy and maybe to the extent of the oedipal contingency. It is evident that Lukacs inserts the reality as measurable, concrete and independent of appearances and process.

Presentation 2

Bertolt Brecht – Against Georg Lukacs

As a practitioner, Brecht contemns Lukacs for ‘escaping’ rather than ‘advancing.’ Brecht demands the need of reduction, subjectivity and ‘artistic form’ – ‘absolute false’ – in assessing social content and deeper causal complexes. Brecht highlights the contingency of realism and offers that the intelligibility of work of art is ageographic, aperiodic and ahistorical. For this Brecht asks ‘generous’ and ‘careful’ assessments for possible abstraction.

Walter Benjamin – Conversations with Brecht

Here Benjamin unfolds his private and yet political conversations with Brecht in exile.

Again Brechtian maxims:

‘I’m not against the asocial, you know; I’m against the non-social.’
‘The struggle against ideology has become a new ideology.’
‘Don’t start from the good old things but the bad new ones.’

Fredric Jameson - Reflections in Conclusion

In conclusion, Jameson appoints the danger of reification and provisional lessons of the Realism/Modernism dialectics. And further states that the functions of new aesthetics and realism are to resist reification and to reinvent totality.

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