By Simon Jarvis
Jarvis bargains an advent to the highbrow and institutional contexts for Adorno's idea, and examines his contributions to social concept, cultural thought, aesthetics and philosophy. He demonstrates the long-lasting coherence and explanatory strength of Adorno's paintings and illustrates its carrying on with relevance to modern debates.
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Extra info for Adorno: A Critical Introduction
3 As such they too exhibit not pure irrationality, but the incipient entanglement of rationality and domination. Adorno and Horkheimer do indeed argue that magic and mimesis do not yet conceal this domination by claiming to have themselves constituted, produced or legislated over those external powers which they seek to ward off or invoke. 26 Domination is thus not yet internalized and mystified. Magic and mimesis, that is, represent a stage before the unity of the subject, but not before rationality or before domination.
For Marcuse, the classic psychoanalytic formulation of the reality principle - the necessary postponement of gratification - was based on the idea that 32 rite Dinlecfic of Enlightenrneiit resources would always be scarce. Because the forces of production have now reached a level of development where scarcity could be abolished, given the right change in the relations of production, Freud's reality principle has been revealed as historically limited. Universal lasting gratification could thus be realized in the contemporary world, given the right change in the relations of production.
If the latter presents history as governed by a kind of secularized deity, the former confronts us with a sheer fadicity which arbitrarily cuts off all further inquiry. In order to preserve such sheer discontinuity the connectedness of what is presented as a pure monad (whether an 39 individual ‘culture’ or an individual ’epoch’) with elements outside it must be suppressed. The Dialectic of Enliglilmmenl needs to be understood as a simultaneous construction and denial of universal history. It is not built on the fantasy of the certain arrival of a better world.
Adorno: A Critical Introduction by Simon Jarvis