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By Stefan Müller-Doohm

'Even the biographical person is a social category', wrote Adorno. 'It can basically be outlined in a residing context including others.' during this significant new biography, Stefan Muller-Doohm turns this maxim again on Adorno himself and offers a wealthy and entire account of the existence and paintings of 1 of the main very good minds of the 20th century.

This authoritative biography levels around the entire of Adorno's lifestyles and profession, from his formative years and scholar years to his years in emigration within the usa and his go back to postwar Germany. while, Muller-Doohm examines the entire diversity of Adorno's writings on philosophy, sociology, literary conception, track concept and cultural feedback. Drawing on an array of resources from Adorno's own correspondence with Horkheimer, Benjamin, Berg, Marcuse, Kracauer and Mann to interviews, notes and either released and unpublished writings, Muller-Doohm situates Adorno's contributions within the context of his instances and gives a wealthy and balanced appraisal of his importance within the twentieth Century as an entire.

Muller-Doohm's transparent prose succeeds in making available essentially the most complicated components of Adorno's concept. This extraordinary biography stands out as the common paintings on Adorno for future years.

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Adorno: A Biography

'Even the biographical person is a social category', wrote Adorno. 'It can purely be outlined in a dwelling context including others. ' during this significant new biography, Stefan Muller-Doohm turns this maxim again on Adorno himself and gives a wealthy and entire account of the existence and paintings of 1 of the main great minds of the 20 th century.

Extra resources for Adorno: A Biography

Sample text

2 Childhood memories like these transmitted the sense of things irrevocably lost, but they also had a stimulating effect on Adorno’s mental world. In other words, his artistic sensibility and critical mind fed on two principal sources. On the one hand, it is not possible to overestimate the importance of the happiness that Adorno experienced in his parents’ house in Frankfurt. The family in which he grew up corresponded in most respects to the picture of the bourgeois family that Horkheimer later described in his study Authority and the Family: ‘The development and happiness of others is what is sought in the family.

His dealings with the teachers were almost entirely unproblematic, as was his grasp of the demands of the curriculum. Nevertheless, as a boy who played music and wrote poetry he had mixed feelings about school as an institution. This had nothing to do with the teachers and their approach to teaching a humanist syllabus. What he found difficult was the school’s insistence on discipline and the emphasis on classification and standardization in the teaching process, as well as the conformism that was bound up with the idea of loyalty to the class and the school.

We may ask whether Adorno was conscious as he grew up of the complex nature of this heritage. The question is not one we can answer, but one illuminating fact is that his whole life long he preferred to use the affectionate diminutive form of his name. As a child, an adolescent and an adult he liked to be known as Teddie, and would often sign his letters ‘Your old Teddie’. As the family grew in number, the need for a change of dwelling became more pressing. They moved from the Schöne Aussicht to 19 Seeheimer Straße.

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