New PDF release: Adorno's poetics of critique

By Steven Helmling

ISBN-10: 0826440843

ISBN-13: 9780826440846

ISBN-10: 0826446884

ISBN-13: 9780826446886

Adorno's Poetics of Critique is a severe examine of the Marxist culture-critic Theodor W. Adorno, a founding member of the Frankfurt university and commonly looked this present day as its so much fantastic exponent.
Steven Helmling is centrally eager about Adorno's notoriously tough writing, a function so much commentators recognize in simple terms to set it apart for you to an expository account of 'what Adorno is saying'. against this, Adorno's advanced writing is the imperative concentration of this examine, along with targeted research of Adorno's most complicated texts, specifically his most famed 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 now not in simple terms for severe considering, but in addition for severe writing. For Adorno the efficacy of critique is conditioned on how the writing of critique is written. either in thought and in perform, Adorno urges a 'poetics of critique' that's every piece as severe as anything in his 'critical theory.

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Example text

Diagnosticians of Critique So, then: ‘unhappy consciousness’ as the fundamental human problem, recurrent, chronic, world-historical, something like, if not a ‘human nature’, then a constant foible of our ‘species-being’. a. ) to their (modern) age. Adorno presents the indictment that critique has shirked the ‘labor of the concept’ with a plangency, an unhappy consciousness palpable and audible in the very tone and voice of his prose, in a way to forbid the forgiving thought that critique’s fault has been merely a kind of laziness, or stupidity; the further premise that the labor of conceptualization implies also a ‘labor of affectualization’ evokes deficits more morally cathected, deficits of honesty and of courage as well.

Not for Plato and Aristotle, elite ‘masters’ of a ‘some are free’ society, any consciousness or idealization of the self as slave. Only in Diotima’s allegory of Eros in the Symposium does ancient Greek ‘philosophy’ approach imagining an abjected self-idealization, and an ‘unhappy consciousness’ that is dynamic and productive, because affective, in anything like Hegel’s way. How telling that its name should be ‘love’. So much, on Hegel’s showing, for ‘the first, and therefore imperfect appearance of Reason’.

And in what is undoubtedly his most-remembered and oftenest-quoted utterance—‘To write poetry after Auschwitz is barbaric’ (P 34)—Adorno might seem to be putting a limit to the argument, by citing an atrocity that threatens to beggar all affect, indeed, all expression—which would have to mean, all critique as well. For surely Adorno’s anxiety in the question of poetry after Auschwitz encompasses anxiety about the continuance of critique and philosophy after Auschwitz as well—a way of putting it that helps uncover the utopian wishfulness in the famous assertion that ‘Philosophy lives on because the moment to realize it was missed’ (ND 3).

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Adorno's poetics of critique by Steven Helmling


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