By Steven Helmling
Adorno's Poetics of Critique is a serious examine of the Marxist culture-critic Theodor W. Adorno, a founding member of the Frankfurt institution and generally looked this day as its such a lot incredible exponent.
Steven Helmling is centrally thinking about Adorno's notoriously tricky writing, a function such a lot commentators recognize merely to set it apart with a purpose to an expository account of 'what Adorno is saying'. against this, Adorno's advanced writing is the vital concentration of this learn, including unique research of Adorno's most intricate texts, particularly his most renowned and intricate paintings, co-authored with Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment.
Helmling argues that Adorno's key motifs - dialectic, notion, negation, immanent critique, constellation - are prescriptions now not purely for serious pondering, but in addition for serious 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 severe as the rest in his 'critical theory.
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Additional resources for Adorno's poetics of critique
Only as projected in human form, and as ‘master’ in dyadic relation to abjected humankind, can God, or Reason, incite the kind of misery that 30 Adorno’s Poetics of Critique becomes consciousness in the first place. To say that in Hegel’s phenomenology, it is Reason that incarnates itself in human form, is to indicate Hegel’s most fundamental reinscription of Christianity. ‘Reason is the slave of the passions’: Hume’s aphorism, read Hegel-wise, may illuminate the point here, stipulating of course that ‘the passions’ are the unhappy ones, the implacable thanatoid superego passions mobilized in the moralizing monotheisms, given their definitive modern theorization by Freud, and, mediated by Lacan, ingeniously put to the uses of Ideologiekritik by Slavoj Zizek.
I]t is in the nature of philosophy—and everything I write is, unavoidably, philosophy, even if it is not concerned with so-called philosophical themes—that nothing is meant quite literally. Philosophy always relates to tendencies and does not consist of statements of fact. . it could equally well be said . . that [after Auschwitz] one must write poems, in keeping with Hegel’s statement in his Aesthetics that as long as there is an awareness of suffering among human beings there must also be art as the objective form of that awareness.
Above all, it presupposes that the Absolute stands on one side and cognition on the other, independent and separated from it, and yet is something real; or in other words, it presupposes that cognition which, since it is excluded from the Absolute, is surely outside of the truth as well, is nevertheless true, an assumption whereby what calls itself fear of error reveals itself rather as fear of the truth (Phenomenology 47). Hegel goes on to diagnose what here appears as merely intellectual error in psychological terms, as a vanity and insecurity vitiating the intellectual courage of the inquirer.