Nation and science (1914–1918) Cover Image

Nemzet és tudomány (1914–1918)
Nation and science (1914–1918)

Author(s): Iván Zoltán Dénes
Subject(s): Pre-WW I & WW I (1900 -1919)
Published by: AETAS Könyv- és Lapkiadó Egyesület

Summary/Abstract: The career and lifework of Gyula Szekfű (1883–1955) are marked with so many and such radical political changes that we need to find an answer to how he could reconcile his metamorphoses with each other and with himself without losing his self-identity. Between 1913 and 1920, the historian took an anti-liberal and conservative ideological turn, which led him to a conservative revision of Hungarian historiography (1918–1934). Between 1933 and 1944, we can witness another transformation, which according to Zoltán Szabó, the writer of one of his obituaries, could have made Gyula Szekfű “the mentor of a cautious reform spirit” had it not been for the Soviet occupation (1934–1944). Finally, between 1945 and 1955 came the turn which transformed the historian from a moderate democrat columnist of the civil democratic Világ into a proponent of unconditional deference to the Soviet Union (1945–1955). Yet if we take a closer look, we can find the constant elements, the constructs and the core of his views, narrative, role and self-image behind all these metamorphoses and mimicries. The core on which he founded his self-identity and on the basis of which he could recreate it time and again. So much so that between 1918 and 1955 he could not even notice any changes in it. With the help of contextual intellectual history, the reconstruction and analysis of key concepts, and the reconstruction, analysis and interpretation of the interpretative framework and method, the paper explores the birth, between 1914 and 1918, of these constructs that provided the foundation for his world view and selfidentity.

  • Issue Year: 2015
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 143-161
  • Page Count: 19
  • Language: Hungarian