Notes to Literature, Volume 2

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Columbia University Press, 1992 - Philosophy - 350 pages
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Available in English for the first time, this is a collection of Adorno's essays on such writers as Mann, Bloch, Holderlin, Kare Kraust, Sigfried Kracauer, Goethe, Benjamin and Stefan George. Also included are Adorno's reflections on a variety of subjects: literary titles, the physical qualities of books, political commitment in literature, the light-hearted and the serious in art, and the use of foreign words in writing, to name a few.
 

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Contents

III
3
IV
12
V
20
VI
32
VII
40
VIII
58
IX
76
X
95
XXIII
267
XXIV
274
XXV
280
XXVI
283
XXVII
286
XXVIII
292
XXIX
299
XXX
303

XI
109
XII
153
XIII
171
XIV
178
XV
193
XVI
211
XVII
220
XVIII
233
XIX
240
XX
247
XXI
257
XXII
260
XXXI
305
XXXII
309
XXXIII
312
XXXIV
313
XXXV
318
XXXVI
322
XXXVII
328
XXXVIII
334
XXXIX
337
XL
345
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About the author (1992)

Theodor W. Adorno is the progenitor of critical theory, a central figure in aesthetics, and the century's foremost philosopher of music. He was born and educated in Frankfurt, Germany. After completing his Ph.D. in philosophy, he went to Vienna, where he studied composition with Alban Berg. He soon was bitterly disappointed with his own lack of talent and turned to musicology. In 1928 Adorno returned to Frankfurt to join the Institute for Social Research, commonly known as The Frankfurt School. At first a privately endowed center for Marxist studies, the school was merged with Frankfort's university under Adorno's directorship in the 1950s. As a refugee from Nazi Germany during World War II, Adorno lived for several years in Los Angeles before returning to Frankfurt. Much of his most significant work was produced at that time. Critics find Adorno's aesthetics to be rich in insight, even when they disagree with its broad conclusions. Although Adorno was hostile to jazz and popular music, he advanced the cause of contemporary music by writing seminal studies of many key composers. To the distress of some of his admirers, he remained pessimistic about the prospects for art in mass society. Adorno was a neo-Marxist who believed that the only hope for democracy was to be found in an interpretation of Marxism opposed to both positivism and dogmatic materialism. His opposition to positivisim and advocacy of a method of dialectics grounded in critical rationalism propelled him into intellectual conflict with Georg Hegel, Martin Heidegger, and Heideggerian hermeneutics.

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