Adorno Reframed: Interpreting Key Thinkers for the Arts by Geoff Boucher

By Geoff Boucher

Pushed aside as a depressing elitist who condemned pop culture within the identify of ‘high art’, Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) is without doubt one of the such a lot provocative and critical but least understood of up to date thinkers. This booklet attracts on new translations into English to problem this renowned photograph and re-examines Adorno as a utopian thinker who believed real artwork may possibly retailer the world.

Adorno Reframed isn't just a finished advent to the reader coming to Adorno for the 1st time via distinct dialogue of artistic endeavors, novels, motion pictures and song, yet a massive re-examination of this founding father of the Frankfurt college. encouraged through 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 speak about human nature, undaunted by way of dogmas relating to cultural development, 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 wildlife and the particularity of the human person, for Adorno genuine actual artwork used to be a defiant refusal to subordinate the materiality of the realm and the lived truth of human task to the imperatives of social totality.

Making his conception available via a wealth of concrete illustrations, many drawn from Adorno himself, Geoffrey Boucher recasts Adorno as a innovative whose anthropological imaginative and prescient of the human situation, feel of subversive irony and profoundly old aesthetics defended the integrity of the person opposed to the commodified tradition industries that offer unsatisfying purchaser ‘happiness’. Grounding Adorno’s social philosophy and aesthetic concept 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 ascertain the legacy and impression of Adorno’s radical modernism and his trust that artwork was once within the bottom line how to take care of, now not break out, truth.

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Extra resources for Adorno Reframed: Interpreting Key Thinkers for the Arts (Contemporary Thinkers Reframed)

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And Adorno, from beginning to end, rejected political violence as the means to utopian reconciliation, something that enraged the wing of the student movement which was eventually to support the terrorism of the Baader-Meinhof ‘Red Army Faction’ and the Italian Red Brigades. In Germany, the Students for a Democratic Society, protesting against the Vietnam War, radicalised after neo-fascist militants murdered two student leaders. In a climate of anti-intellectual militancy that valorised political activism and clashes with the police, Adorno was denounced as a reactionary.

Before political developments in the direction of left wing militarism could clarify the arguments, Adorno died of a heart attack, after trekking in the Alps against doctors’ orders. 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.

Further, Bloch writes, ‘in its original form, Expressionism meant the shattering of images, it meant breaking up the surface from [a] subjective, perspective, one which wrenched things apart and dislocated them’ (Lukács, 2007: 36–37). According to Bloch, then, Expressionism reflects the experience of breakdown that belongs to the crisis of capitalism, and anybody who criticises modernism is ‘confusing experiments in demolition with a condition of decadence’ (Bloch, 2007: 22). The brilliance of Lukács’ reply is that he entirely accepts this description of modernism, but completely rejects Bloch’s evaluation of its significance and legitimacy.

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