György Lukács

(13th April 1885 – 4th June 1971)


January 1904 – Lukács founds the Thalia Society with László Bánóczi, Marcell Benedek and Sándor Hevesi.

6th October 1906 – Receives doctorate in Political Science from the University of Kolozsvár

18th December 1907 – Meets Irma Seidler to whom he later dedicates his first collection of essays.

8th February 1908 – Wins the Kisfaludy Society’s first prize for the first draft of “The History of the Development of Modern Drama”.

1909 – Completes doctorate in Aesthetics and English and German Literature at the University of Budapest.

March 1910 –  His collection of essays, Soul and Form (A lélek és a formák) is published by Franklin Publishing House (Die Seele und die Formen, Fleischel, 1911)

February 1912 – “The History of the Development of Modern Drama” is published.

1912-1917 – Lives mostly in Heidelberg, works amongst other things on his early aesthetics which is only published after his death.

May 1914 – Marries Jelena Grabenko, the marriage soon breaks up.

September 1915 – The so-called Sunday Circle forms around Lukács and Béla Balázs.

October 1916 – Die Theorie des Romans (The Theory of the Novel) is published in the Zeitschrift für Ästhetik und allgemeine Kunstwissenschaft.

7th November 1917 – Deposits his manuscripts and correspondence in the Deutsche Bank in Heidelberg; the suitcase is only discovered after his death.

December 1918 – Becomes a member of the Hungarian Communist Party.

March 1919 – Deputy Commissar for Education in the Hungarian Soviet Republic.

August-September 1919 – After the fall of the Hungarian Soviet Republic he works clandestinely for a month in Budapest, then emigrates to Vienna where he becomes editor and contributor to Kommunismus, and also contributes to Die Internationale published in Berlin, and the Hungarian language newspapers of the Communist émigrés. He is member of the leadership of the Hungarian Communist Party until the late 1920s.

1923 – Geschichte und Klassenbewusstsein (History and Class Consciousness) is published by Malik Verlag. He marries Gertrúd Bortstieber.

1924 – The Verlag der Arbeiter-Buchhandlung publishes Lenin. Studie über den Zusammenhang seiner Gedanken (Lenin: A Study on the Unity of his Thought) in Vienna.

1928 – He is kept in custody in Vienna for a short period, then expelled from Austria in 1929.

End of 1928 – He writes the so-called „Blum-theses” for the II. Congress of the Hungarian Communist Party. The theses are recjected by the Hungarian party, then the Comintern. Lukács resigns from the party leadership.

1930-1931 – Holds a position at the Marx-Engels Institute in Moscow.

1931-1933 – Lives in Berlin, becomes a member of the German Communist Party. Edits the Linkskurve, is one the the leading ideologists of the Bund Proletarisch-Revolutionärer Schriftsteller.

Spring 1933 – summer 1945 – Lives in the Soviet Union, works at the Institute of Philosophy of the Communist Academy, contributes to the Literaturny Kritik and the Internationale Literatur.

1938 – Finishes his monography, The Young Hegel, for which he receives a doctorate from the Soviet Academy of Science.

July-August 1941 – He is arrested and is held prisoner in the Lublyanka.

1941-1942 – Evacuated to Tashkent from the advancing German army.

August 1945 – He returns to Hungary.

November 1945 – Appointed professor of aesthetics and philosophy of the Péter Pázmány University

1948, 1955 – Receives the Kossuth prize.

1948 –  Member of the Hungarian Academy of Sciences.

1949-1956 – Member of the Hungarian Parliament.

Summer 1949 – His political and literary views are attacked in the periodical Társadalmi Szemle. As a result of the long dispute and the political turn behind it, Lukács withdraws from politics.

1952 – He finishes The Destruction of Reason.

1955 – Becomes a member of the German Academy of Sciences at Berlin

25-31st October 1956 – Minister for public education in Imre Nagy’s second government.

After 4th November 1956 – Interned in Snagov along with Imre Nagy and his circles.

April 1957 – Returns to Budapest.

Beginning of 1957 –  His book, A különösség mint esztétikai kategória is published by Akadémiai Kiadó

1965 – After a long silence, the The Specificity of the Aesthetic is published in Hungarian. The German publication (Die Eigenart des Ästhetischen, Luchterhand) appeared two years earlier.

Summer 1968 – Finishes the first manuscript of The Ontology.

Autumn-winter 1968 – Writes Demokratisierung heute und morgen (The process of democratization) which is only published posthumously.

1970 – Receives The Goethe Prize of the City of Frankfurt.

Beginning of 1971 – Gravely ill, he is working on his autobiography (Gelebtes Denken).