Saturday, 14 January 2012

Theodor Adorno

Theodor Adorno produced some of the most challenging critical, aesthetical and philosophical works of the twentieth century.
Adorno’s work is very often a response – to what passes for common sense at the time of writing, to a specific claim made about a work, or to quite specific developments, in particular artistic traditions – and so it helps to know something of the situation to appreciate Adorno’s point. This tension is reversed in the theory maze of Aesthetic Theory, which although incomplete at the time of his death, is the most intense expression of Adorno’s own quest for form. The ambiguous title offers us both sides of Adorno’s project: a theory of the aesthetic which must come to terms with the violence of arraigning the singularity of the art work under general categories, and a theory which itself aspires to the uniqueness and individuality of the art work.1
 1. Thomson, A. J. P. (Alexander John Peter) ADORNO: A Guide for the Perplexed (London: Continuum, 2006) 44.