Theodor W. Adorno's Aesthetic Theory (Athlone Contemporary European Thinkers) PDF

By Theodor W. Adorno

In his "Philosophy of contemporary Music", Theodor W. Adorno analyzes what he known as "radical music" and discusses intimately the leading edge paintings of Mahler, of Schoenberg and his disciples, and the early compositions of Stravinsky. As in all his writings, Adorno brings a big selection of cultural and social subject matters to endure on those topics, in order that person musical works are obvious of their broadest political and sociological surroundings. whilst, the booklet is still a research of the works themselves, and as such is a vintage research of significant twentieth century tune. released for the 1st time in Germany in 1948, "Philosophy of contemporary Music" is a made of Adorno's exile within the usa, the place he wrote it whereas nationwide Socialism fell in his eu place of birth.

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The insistence on the nonintentional in art—which is apparent in art's sympathy with its lower manifestations beginning at a specific historical point with Wedekind's derision of the "art-artist," with Apollinaire, and indeed with the beginnings of cubism—points up art's unconscious self-consciousness in its participation in what is contrary to it; this self-consciousness motivated art's culture-critical turn that cast off the illusion of its purely spiritual being. Art is the social antithesis of society, not directly deducible from it.

The synthesis achieved by means of the artwork is not simply forced on its elements; rather, it recapitulates that in which these elements communicate with one another; thus the synthesis is itself a product of otherness. Indeed, synthesis has its foundation in the spirit-distant material dimension of works, in that in which synthesis is active. This unites the aesthetic element of form with noncoercion. By its difference from empirical reality the artwork necessarily constitutes itself in 8 ART, SOCIETY, AESTHETICS relation to what it is not, and to what makes it an artwork in the first place.

When impulse can no longer find preestablished security in forms or content, productive artists are objectively compelled to experiment. This concept of experiment has, however, transformed itself in a fashion that is exemplary for the categories of the modern. Originally it meant simply that the will, conscious of itself, tested unknown or unsanctioned technical procedures. Fundamental to this idea of experimentation was the latently traditionalistic belief that it would automatically become clear whether the results were a match for what had already been established and could thus legitimate themselves.

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