The joy in the illusion, kept in suspense Cover Image

Die Lust an der in Schwebe gehaltenen Illusion
The joy in the illusion, kept in suspense

Johan Huizinga and Georg Lukács

Author(s): Léon Hanssen
Subject(s): Sociology of Culture
Published by: Ústav svetovej literatúry, Slovenská akadémia vied
Keywords: Johan Huizinga; Georg Lukács; Concepts of play;

Summary/Abstract: Although their names have hardly ever been mentioned in the same breath and the two intellectuals never met face to face, Johan Huizinga (1872–1945), the grave and placid historian from the Netherlands, and Georg Lukács (1885–1971), the radical left-wing thinker from Hungary, have at least two striking features in common. First is their severe cultural critique,with its gloomy judgment of the crucial developments and phenomena in 19th and 20th century European culture and society. Second is their resumption of the Schillerian notion that man is complete only when he plays. Both issues, the cultural critique on the one hand, and the (often retrogressive) utopian vision of man-the-player who transcends modern alienation on the other, are closely interrelated. The paper zeroes in on the peculiar relationship between the concepts of play in Huizinga and in Lukács, following the strategy of playing off the growing uneasiness in culture against the emerging ideal of playfulness in interwar Europe,both in the West and in the East, both among communist and liberal intellectuals. Ultimately,the difference between the two options may not be as drastic as appeared at first sight.

  • Issue Year: 9/2017
  • Issue No: 1
  • Page Range: 41-47
  • Page Count: 7
  • Language: German