Adorno's poetics of critique - download pdf or read online

By Steven Helmling

ISBN-10: 0826440843

ISBN-13: 9780826440846

ISBN-10: 0826446884

ISBN-13: 9780826446886

Adorno's Poetics of Critique is a serious research of the Marxist culture-critic Theodor W. Adorno, a founding member of the Frankfurt tuition and extensively seemed this day as its so much wonderful exponent.
Steven Helmling is centrally focused on Adorno's notoriously tricky writing, a characteristic such a lot commentators recognize in basic terms to set it apart so one can an expository account of 'what Adorno is saying'. in contrast, Adorno's complicated writing is the critical concentration of this examine, consisting of certain research of Adorno's most intricate texts, particularly his most renowned and complex paintings, co-authored with Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment.
Helmling argues that Adorno's key motifs - dialectic, inspiration, negation, immanent critique, constellation - are prescriptions no longer simply for severe pondering, but additionally for severe writing. For Adorno the efficacy of critique is conditioned on how the writing of critique is written. either in conception and in perform, Adorno urges a 'poetics of critique' that's each piece as serious as anything in his 'critical theory.

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He presents it as coincident historically with the advent of Christianity in the Mediterranean world, and its confluence with Greco-Roman Skepticism and Stoicism. For Hegel, unhappy consciousness expresses a relation to some ‘beyond’ that is inaccessible in this world; it thus encourages an ‘abstract negation’ of this-worldly attachments, and of the very possibility of this-worldly happiness as such. For this specific but chronic historical-spiritual disorder, Hegel believes that the fullness of history has, in the modern age, at last enabled a (philosophical) remedy, which the Phenomenology prescribes: a critical self-consciousness that will redeem the promise of this-worldly happiness by sublating the abjection instigated by our alienation from a ‘beyond’ entoiled, by reason of its limitlessness, in all the regressions of ‘bad infinity’—a formula anticipating the implacably punitive super-ego diagnosed by Freud.

Since it concerns the possibility of any affirmation of life, this question cannot be evaded. . any thought which is not measured by this standard, which does not assimilate it theoretically, simply pushes aside at the outset that which thought should address—so that it really cannot be called a thought at all (MCP 110–1; cf. ND 362). This passage brings together a number of themes: the evocation of high ambition, or vocation, or doom (‘everything I write is, unavoidably, philosophy’); the adviso that in philosophy ‘nothing is meant quite literally’; the rootedness of art and philosophy both in ‘an awareness of suffering’; the ultimate question of ‘the possibility of any affirmation of life’.

Kant’s covert motive was that philosophy should displace theology as arbiter among the disciplines; but his 22 Adorno’s Poetics of Critique overt proposal was that the warring faculties agree to disagree: they were separate discourses, exercising discriminable kinds of ‘Reason’ on different, non-overlapping, problems. The outcome was not what Kant had hoped for: while philosophy and religion were engrossed in their ‘contest’, the real power was passing to the empirical sciences and their new, and (Adorno thought) fatally narrow canons of truth and fact.

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Adorno's poetics of critique by Steven Helmling


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