Sunday, May 15, 2011
John Lukacs has written another reflection on history as a discipline and as a cultural phenomena. Regular readers of Lukacs will not find a great deal new here, as he's addressed many of these issues in the past. On the other hand, I do not tire of reading Lukacs on this topic. Indeed, given his style, it's almost as if he's sitting by the fire speaking informally to a gathering of confidants on a topic about which his mind has been quite fertile for many decades. While the topics have been addressed in the past, the fertility of his mind keeps the topic fresh and relevant. Topics like how historical consciousness has risen in modernity, how history relates to literature, how we think of what constitutes history: all of these are topics deserving of careful and repeated consideration, and Lukacs provides us with another take on these topics that makes this book worthwhile. For someone new to this master, reading this book will provide a brief introduction to the fertility of his thought on these topics. Now into his 80's, one has to consider each of these books as a real treasure.