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By Steven Helmling

Adorno's Poetics of Critique is a serious research of the Marxist culture-critic Theodor W. Adorno, a founding member of the Frankfurt tuition and extensively appeared at the present time as its so much magnificent exponent.
Steven Helmling is centrally focused on Adorno's notoriously tough writing, a function so much commentators recognize in simple terms to set it apart which will an expository account of 'what Adorno is saying'. against this, Adorno's complicated writing is the imperative concentration of this learn, which include unique research of Adorno's most intricate texts, specifically his most renowned and complex paintings, co-authored with Max Horkheimer, Dialectic of Enlightenment.
Helmling argues that Adorno's key motifs - dialectic, suggestion, negation, immanent critique, constellation - are prescriptions no longer in simple terms for serious considering, but additionally for severe writing. For Adorno the efficacy of critique is conditioned on how the writing of critique is written. either in concept and in perform, Adorno urges a 'poetics of critique' that's every piece as severe as anything in his 'critical theory.

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Against the backdrop of World War Two, the contrast of Horkheimer and Adorno’s authorial carriage with Freud’s will be a useful handle. Freud’s diagnosis of cultural pathologies is no less comprehensive and disturbing (arguably more so) than Horkheimer and Adorno’s, but Freud’s tone of calmly bleak realism is notably affectless. Some might argue that Freud’s writing, too, is ‘enacting’ one of his fundamental themes, the ‘nirvana principle’, that all mental activity has as its goal to defuse dangerous affects.

But those who deplore what they take to be the hair-shirt defeatism or melodramatizing unhappy consciousness of 24 Adorno’s Poetics of Critique the ‘after-Auschwitz’ remark would do well to ponder Adorno’s own comment a decade and a half later: I once said that after Auschwitz one could no longer write poetry, and that gave rise to a discussion I did not anticipate . . [I]t is in the nature of philosophy—and everything I write is, unavoidably, philosophy, even if it is not concerned with so-called philosophical themes—that nothing is meant quite literally.

Hegel explains this ‘fear of the truth’ as ‘intended to ward off Science itself, and constitute an empty appearance of knowing’. a. ‘the labor of the concept’) because ‘the realization of the Notion, counts for it [natural consciousness] as the loss of its own self . ’ (Phenomenology 49). ‘The road can therefore be regarded as the pathway of doubt, or more precisely as the way of despair’; and ‘natural consciousness’, economizing its experiential investments to maximize pleasure and minimize pain, cowers away from that path.

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