By Geoff Boucher
Disregarded as a depressing elitist who condemned pop culture within the identify of ‘high art’, Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) is among the such a lot provocative and critical but least understood of latest thinkers. This publication attracts on new translations into English to problem this well known snapshot and re-examines Adorno as a utopian thinker who believed genuine artwork may perhaps shop the world.
Adorno Reframed isn't just a complete creation to the reader coming to Adorno for the 1st time via special dialogue of works of art, novels, motion pictures and track, yet a major re-assessment of this founding father of the Frankfurt institution. motivated by means of Kant, Hegel, Freud, Marx, Nietzche and Kierkegaard, Adorno was once a searing critic of the formal, reductive rationality of the Enlightenment and of modernity. Unafraid to discuss human nature, undaunted by way of dogmas relating to cultural building, Adorno enjoyed paintings that hurts, that challenged the existing tradition of the day and resisted the controlled, commodified pseudo-happiness of ‘administered society’. protecting the independence of the flora and fauna and the particularity of the human person, for Adorno genuine genuine paintings used to be a defiant refusal to subordinate the materiality of the realm and the lived fact of human job to the imperatives of social totality.
Making his concept available via a wealth of concrete illustrations, many drawn from Adorno himself, Geoffrey Boucher recasts Adorno as a progressive whose anthropological imaginative and prescient of the human , experience of subversive irony and profoundly old aesthetics defended the integrity of the person opposed to the commodified tradition industries that offer unsatisfying customer ‘happiness’. Grounding Adorno’s social philosophy and aesthetic thought in contextualised research of artists starting from Stockhausen and Kafka to David Lynch and Brett Easton-Ellis, Adorno Reframed takes its topic from interwar modernity into the postmodern and feminist current to check the legacy and impact of Adorno’s radical modernism and his trust that paintings was once within the bottom line the way to focus on, no longer get away, truth.
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Extra info for Adorno Reframed: Interpreting Key Thinkers for the Arts (Contemporary Thinkers Reframed)
20 Adorno Reframed ‘historical materialism’, and not ‘Marxism’, and they sought to pose fundamental questions about contemporary capitalism from a non-dogmatic perspective. The major thinkers of the Frankfurt School were open to the insights not only of non-Marxist theories, but also interested in dialogue with deeply conservative thinkers, as well as new, radical developments in the arts. Furthermore, they considered Freud’s discoveries about depth psychology essential to understanding the passionate subjectivity of the artistic rebels and political radicals of their era.
Robert Wiene’s film, The Cabinet of Dr Caligari (1920), emphasises the distortion of the objective world by the subjective dimension even more strongly. In the gothic sets and post-Romantic aesthetics of the world of another mad scientist, the frightening Doctor Caligari, the supposed neutrality of reified objectivity is decoded as a mask for the subjective desire to manipulate and dominate. The angular ‘wrongness’ of the cinematic set reflects the denaturalisation of domination. The everyday, normal world of reified objectivity and instrumental manipulation, the result of scientific neutrality, supposedly expresses no subjectivity whatsoever.
This group of anti-fascist and anti-Stalinist intellectuals developed a highly independent research programme whose aim was to critically update Marxism. Refusing to subscribe to any orthodoxy, they reminded readers of their journal that Marx called his ideas 19 Introduction the exploitation of nature as raw materials and a certain disregard for the individual. By the 1960s, Adorno is probably best described as the sort of Marxist who is an ethical individualist, rather than as any sort of traditional socialist.