The Fleeting Promise of Art: Adorno's Aesthetic Theory Revisited

By Peter Uwe Hohendahl

A dialogue of Theodor Adorno’s Aesthetic Theory is certain to seem considerably varied this day than it'll have appeared whilst the booklet was once first released in 1970, or whilst it first seemed in English translation within the Nineteen Eighties. In The Fleeting Promise of Art, Peter Uwe Hohendahl reexamines Aesthetic Theory in addition to Adorno’s different writings on aesthetics in mild of the unforeseen go back of the classy to today’s cultural debates.

Is Adorno’s aesthetic concept nonetheless proper at the present time? Hohendahl solutions this query with an emphatic sure. As he indicates, a cautious studying of the paintings exposes various questions and arguments at the present time than it did long ago. through the years Adorno’s obstacle over the destiny of paintings in a overdue capitalist society has met with every little thing from suspicion to indifference. partially this may be defined by way of relative unfamiliarity with the German dialectical culture in North the US. Today’s debate is healthier expert, extra multifaceted, and extra faraway from the speedy aftermath of the chilly conflict and of the shadow of postmodernism.

Adorno’s insistence at the radical autonomy of the paintings has a lot to supply modern discussions of artwork and the cultured looking for new responses to the pervasive results of a neoliberal artwork marketplace and tradition undefined. Focusing in particular on Adorno’s engagement with literary works, Hohendahl indicates how significantly transformative Adorno’s principles were and the way completely they've got formed present discussions in aesthetics. one of the themes he considers are the function of artwork in modernism and postmodernism, the reality claims of artistic endeavors, the functionality of the gruesome in smooth works of art, the precarious price of the literary culture, and the astounding value of realism for Adorno.

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I. Hollingdale (Cambridge: Cambridge college Press, 1996), a hundred. 21. Ibid. , one hundred and one. four. fact, Realism, and illustration 1. For a dialogue of the idea that of realism in Lukács and Adorno, see Peter Uwe Hohendahl, “The thought of the radical and the idea that of Realism in Lukács and Adorno,” in Georg Lukács Reconsidered: severe Essays in Politics, Philosophy and Aesthetics, ed. Michael J. Thompson (New York: Continuum, 2011), 75–98. 2. Adorno, Notes to Literature, trans. Shierry Weber Nicholsen, 2 vols. (New York: Columbia college Press, 1991–1992), 1:37–54. for this reason brought up within the textual content as NL. three. For a common dialogue of the idea that of illustration in literature, see Elaine Scarry, Resisting illustration (New York: Oxford collage Press, 1994); William G. Tierney and Yvonne S. Lincoln, eds. illustration and the textual content: Re-Framing the Narrative Voice (Albany: kingdom college of recent York Press, 1997). four. Georg Lukács, Balzac und der französische Realismus (Berlin: Aufbau, 1952). five. Friedrich Engels, short an leave out Harkness, in Fritz J. Raddatz, ed. , Marxismus und Literatur: Eine Dokumentation (Reinbek: Rowohlt), 1:157–159. 6. For a extra whole knowing of Lukács’s thought of realism, see Lukács, Essays über den Realismus, vol. four of Werke (Neuwied: Luchterhand, 1971). 7. Adorno, Prisms, trans. Shierry Weber Nicholsen and Samuel Weber (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1981), 243–271. as a consequence pointed out as Pr within the textual content. There are common scattered references to Kafka within the volumes of Notes to Literature. eight. the variety is especially obvious within the past scholarship. See Wilhelm Emrich, Die Weltkritik Franz Kafkas (Wiesbaden: Steiner, 1958); Bert Nagel, Franz Kafka: Aspekte zur Interpretation und Wirkung (Berlin: Erich Schmidt, 1974); Heinz Politzer, Franz Kafka: Parable and Paradox (Ithaca, long island: Cornell college Press, 1966); Erich Heller, Franz Kafka (Princeton, NJ: Princeton collage Press, 1982); Stanley Corngold, Franz Kafka: the need of shape (Ithaca, new york: Cornell collage Press, 1988). nine. Hohendahl, “Theory of the Novel,” (n. 1, above). 10. within the tradition warfare among the Federal Republic of Germany and the German Democratic Republic through the Nineteen Fifties and Nineteen Sixties the distortion of fact as a symptom of decadent Western paintings and literature is vital to the orthodox Communist assault opposed to West German tradition. partially, Adorno’s safety of Kafka goals on the Stalinist place of East German literary feedback. eleven. there have been (unauthorized) voices inside East German feedback that have been sympathetic to Adorno’s place, between them the thinker Wolfgang Heise, who engaged in a efficient discussion with Adorno’s literary idea. See Helmut Pillau, “Adorno in der DDR: Zur kritischen Rezeption seiner Ästhetik bei Wolfgang Heise,” in Adorno im Widerstreit: Zur Präsenz seines Denkens, ed. Wolfram Ette et al. (Freiburg: Karl Alber, 2004), 518–533. 12. Theodor W. Adorno, Aesthetic idea, trans. Robert Hullot-Kentor (Minneapolis: college of Minnesota Press, 1997). as a consequence stated within the textual content as AT.

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