Adorno and a Writing of the Ruins: Essays on Modern Aesthetics and Anglo-American Literature and Culture

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Arguing that postmodernism has so shifted current critical paradigms that Adorno's work can best be assessed in terms of its relevance in specific localized contexts, this book pursues a course that preserves Adorn's opposition to hegemonic programs but that is also wary of Adorn's own (negative) penchant for totalizing concepts. Unlike recent works which attempt to synthesize Adorn's writing into a comprehensive system that then becomes either the focus of an overriding critique or an object of appropriation, Harding orders his book as a collection of essays whose loose association questions the structural totality of Adorn's thought.
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Editorial Reviews

Focuses on the interior spaces of Theodore Adorno's (1903-69) thought as a member of the Institute for Social Research and the Frankfurt School of criticism and aesthetics. Includes discussions of historical dialectics and the autonomy of art, the philosophy of music and Eliot's "Four Quartets", and Ellison and the critique of jazz. Three of the six chapters have been published as journal articles. Annotation c. by Book News, Inc., Portland, Or.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780791432693
  • Publisher: State University of New York Press
  • Publication date: 2/1/1997
  • Pages: 197

Table of Contents

Introduction 1
I Adorno, Dialectics, and Aesthetic Theory
1 Historical Dialectics and the Autonomy of Art in Adorno's Aesthetic Theory 11
2 Aesthetic Theory and Fragmenting the Unities of Negation 27
II Adorno, Literature, and the Conceptual Forms of Historical Reflection
3 Trying to Understand Godot: Adorno, Beckett, and the Senility of Dialectics 51
4 The Lexicon of Music: Adorno, the Philosophy of Music, and Eliot's Four Quartets 65
III Adorno, Folk Culture, Commodification and National Identity in Literature and Music
5 Adorno, Ellison, and the Critique of Jazz 97
6 Cultural Identities, Commodities, and Myth: Adorno and Baraka on Wagner and the Flying Dutchman 117
Notes 149
Bibliography 179
Index 191
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