The writings of Proust and Beckett played a crucial role in Adorno's thinking about art and its role in modern culture. Returning to the early Lukács, Hegel, and Benjamin, the presentation identifies and discusses the philosophical assumptions informing Adorno's approach to these writers. It then offers an account of Adorno's peculiar understanding of literary transcendence. Each in their own way - yet dialectically interrelated - Proust and Beckett write the "subterranean history of modernity."
We are now approaching the 50th anniversary of Aesthetic Theory
(first published posthumously in 1970), the final masterpiece of the
philosopher and social theorist Theodor W. Adorno. This lecture
contributes to the semester-long series of scholarly presentations that
reflect on the legacy and actuality of this major work.