Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Wolin, Richard. "Geist Busted." BOOKFORUM.COM (June-August 2008).

Claussen, Detlev. Theodor W. Adorno: One Last Genius. Cambridge, MA: Harvard UP, 2008. During the 2003 Adorno centenary, something remarkable happened in Germany. The entire nation reached out to embrace this renegade Marxist philosopher in ways that were truly surprising. Throughout the country, Adorno “festivals” took place—apotheoses of the public celebrations advocated in Rousseauesque “civil religion.” In Frankfurt-am-Main, where Adorno taught and where he remains something of a legend, there is now an Adorno-Platz that features, instead of the customary bust, his writing desk, bizarrely encased in glass. A plethora of public exhibitions tracing his life and thought were mounted. Concerts featuring his musical com­­p­o­sitions—most of which resemble Vienna School pastiches—were widely staged and subsequently released on CD. Documentaries examining his intellectual itinerary and philosophical contributions suffused German television. Radio programs took note of his immense influence on postwar German politics and society. The obligatory postage stamp bearing his likeness appeared, putting him in the company of such luminaries as Immanuel Kant and Hannah Arendt. Major universities hosted ponderous colloquiums, in which professors parsed such Adorno conundrums as “Philosophy is really there to redeem what lies in an animal’s gaze.” . . . Read the rest here:

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