Cleanth Brooks's Essay Irony as a Principle of Structure

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Home » texts » History & Class Consciousness: Preface by Georg Lukács (1923) Thursday, February 3, 2011
History & Class Consciousness: Preface by Georg Lukács (1923) Share 

History and Class Consciousness
THE collection and publication of these essays in book form is not intended to give them a greater importance as a whole than would be due to each individually. For the most part they are attempts, arising out of actual work for the party, to clarify the theoretical problems of the revolutionary movement in the mind ,of the author and his readers. The exceptions to this are the two essays Reification and the Consciousness of the Proletariat and Towards a Methodology of the Problem of Organisation which were both written specially for this collection during a period of enforced leisure. They, too, are based on already existing occasional pieces.

Although they have now been partly revised, no systematic attempt has been made. to remove the traces of the particular circumstances in which they were written. In some cases a radical recasting of an essay would have meant destroying what I regard as its inner core of truth. Thus in the essay on The Changing Function of Historical Materialism we can still hear the echoes of those exaggeratedly sanguine hopes that many of us cherished concerning the duration and tempo of the revolution. The reader should not, therefore, look to these essays for a complete scientific system. Despite this the book does have a definite unity. This will be found in the sequence of the essays, which for this reason...
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