Love and Death:: George Lukács and Irma Seidler


Love and Death:Geworfenheit ins Dasein  has the ontological legitimacy for Lukács appeared to his youth.

Lukács’ writing to Irma, he states:

There are people who understand and do not live, and their are others that live but do not understand. The first kind cannot ever really reach the second even though they understand them, and the second can never understand the essence, but then, it doesn’t matter. The feeling of love or hate, the liking somebody or the possibility of learning to like someone, exists, but the categories of understanding do not exist for them.

Selected Correspondence: 1902-1920, pg. 109.

 Lukács’s unposted suicide letter of November 1908 includes these lines:

It was on that evening in Florence…that I posed the question of my life: Should it be my fate to lose out every time I try to establish a person-to-person relationship that goes beyond that of the intellectual one? On October 28 – the day of the delivery of your letter – the verdict was returned: ‘Yes, this is how it is going to be.’ And I cannot live with this verdict. Everything that you built up has now collapsed. Goodness has left me forever; even its roots are torn out. I have become bad, cold-hearted, mean – and a cynic. But there followed a period of intellectual ecstasy: books and ideas became my opium.

                             –George Lukács, Selected Correspondence: 1902-1920, pg. 56.

[If aesthetic culture] has a center: the completely peripheral nature of everything; [if] it symbolizes something: that nothing is symbolic, nothing is more than what it seems to be at the moment of experiencing…And this culture does have a dimension that surpasses the merely individual (it belongs to the essence of culture that it is the common treasure of men): that there is nothing that could rise beyond the merely individual. It implies a relation among men based on complete loneliness, on the absence of relatedness.

                            –Andrew Arato and Paul Breines, The Young Lukács and the Origins of Western Marxism, New York, Seabury Press, 1979, pg. 26.