By Geoff Boucher
Disregarded as a depressing elitist who condemned pop culture within the identify of ‘high art’, Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) is likely one of the so much provocative and significant but least understood of latest thinkers. This ebook attracts on new translations into English to problem this well known photo and re-examines Adorno as a utopian thinker who believed real paintings might store the world.
Adorno Reframed isn't just a finished advent to the reader coming to Adorno for the 1st time via special dialogue of works of art, novels, movies and song, yet an immense re-examination of this founding father of the Frankfurt tuition. prompted 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 through dogmas concerning cultural building, Adorno enjoyed artwork that hurts, that challenged the present 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 actual actual paintings was once a defiant refusal to subordinate the materiality of the area and the lived truth of human job to the imperatives of social totality.
Making his idea obtainable 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, experience of subversive irony and profoundly old aesthetics defended the integrity of the person opposed to the commodified tradition industries that offer unsatisfying buyer ‘happiness’. Grounding Adorno’s social philosophy and aesthetic conception 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 effect of Adorno’s radical modernism and his trust that paintings used to be within the base line the way to deal with, now not get away, truth.
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Additional info for Adorno Reframed: Interpreting Key Thinkers for the Arts (Contemporary Thinkers Reframed)
Money is an abstract representation of the labour time embodied in commodities, useful items produced for profit and sold on the market. Money functions as a ‘general equivalent’ or medium of circulation in capitalism, enabling qualitatively unlike things (different objects) to exchange in the medium of quantitative likeness (monetary amounts). Describing the monetarisation of human relationships as ‘commodity fetishism’, Marx criticised how, through the abstraction of money, ‘definite social relations between men and women assume, in their eyes, the fantastic form of a [monetary] relation between things’ (Marx, 1963: 72).
But as a matter of fact, Adorno in the 1930s and 1940s confronted a progressive intellectual perspective of considerable depth and sophistication that argued just this. This chapter argues for a new perspective on Adorno’s social theory, as a preparation for viewing his aesthetics in a fresh light. To achieve this, it begins from the critique of modernism against which Adorno had to defend it, that of the Hegelian Marxism of György Lukács. Only once it ceases to be obvious to us that modernism is automatically legitimate will it be possible to see what it is, exactly, that Adorno is advocating, and where he is coming from in doing so.
Astonishingly, Lyotard proposes that we should reject Adorno and accomplish the shift from criticism into affirmation, 30 Adorno Reframed from dissent with society into acceptance of existing arrangements. We really should abandon utopian expectations, Lyotard proposes. For Lyotard, with intense cynicism, contemporary culture is all about ‘just gaming’, under conditions where the historical narrative of emancipation is exhausted. ‘We have the advantage over Adorno,’ Lyotard remarks, ‘of living in a capitalism that is more energetic, more cynical, less tragic,’ a system where ‘the tragic gives way to the parodic’ (Lyotard, 1974: 128).