Read e-book online Theodor W. Adorno: One Last Genius PDF

By Detlev Claussen

He used to be famously adverse to biography as a literary shape. And but this lifetime of Adorno by way of one in every of his final scholars is way greater than literary in its accomplishments, giving us our first transparent examine how the fellow and his second met to create “critical theory.” An intimate photograph of the crucial twentieth-century transatlantic highbrow, the e-book is usually a window at the cultural ferment of Adorno’s day—and its ongoing value in our own.

The biography starts off on the shining second of the German bourgeoisie, in a global ruled through liberals keen to increase citizenship to refugees fleeing pogroms in japanese Europe. Detlev Claussen follows Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno (1903–1969) from his privileged lifestyles as a loved prodigy to his highbrow coming of age in Weimar Germany and Vienna; from his exile throughout the Nazi years, first to England, then to the USA, to his emergence because the Adorno we all know now within the probably not-so-unlikely surroundings of l. a.. There in 1943 along with his collaborator Max Horkheimer, Adorno constructed serious idea, whose key insight—that to be entertained is to offer one’s consent—helped outline the highbrow panorama of the 20 th century.

In taking pictures the fellow in his advanced relationships with many of the century’s best minds—including, between others, Arnold Schoenberg, Walter Benjamin, Thomas Mann, Siegfried Kracauer, Georg Lukács, Hannah Arendt, and Bertolt Brecht—Claussen unearths how a lot we've but to benefit from Theodor Adorno, and what kind of his lifestyles can let us know approximately ourselves and our time.

“By interpreting Adorno’s existence via a circle of modernist partners who ended up dispersed world wide, Detlev Claussen increases the query of even if biography should be written in any respect less than the damaged stipulations of modernity. In his descriptions of German-Jewish lives, Claussen exhibits the complexities of residing within the shadow of Auschwitz, and undermines the crude myths and interpretations that experience occasionally plagued scholarship of Adorno and his milieu. ”—Lydia Goehr, Columbia University

“Writing as a sympathetic admirer instead of as an interloper or critic, Claussen strikes the reader via his narrative the way in which an excellent novelist does. He has in actual fact mastered Adorno’s tough writings and is splendidly in command of his subject’s highbrow and private milieu. His prose is vigorous and unburdened by means of technical jargon. Even for a veteran Adorno observer, this awesome ebook includes many new findings and revisions of traditional knowledge. ”—Martin Jay, college of California, Berkeley

“This dependent translation of Claussen’s 2003 biography of his instructor presents the 1st glimpse of the intensity of Adorno’s lifestyles and notion. In masterful strokes, Claussen lines Adorno’s lifestyles and paintings from his middle-class Jewish adolescence in Frankfurt and Vienna and his collage paintings on Kierkegaard to his friendships with Walter Benjamin and Thomas Mann, between others, and his later highbrow partnership with Horkheimer. Weaving in colourful excerpts of Adorno’s writings, Claussen demonstrates the centrality of song and aesthetics to the thinker and gives clean insights into his existence. due to its intensity and thoroughness, this lovingly crafted learn will most definitely develop into the definitive portrait of Adorno, and it's also a charming portrait of the particularly transferring occasions, from Weimar to the Nazi regime, in which Adorno passed.”—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

“Claussen, a pupil of Adorno’s, has written what has been hailed as one of the best books on its famously recalcitrant subject.”—Brian Sholis, Bookforum

“Claussen is a journalist in addition to a tutorial, and his ability at revealing the narrative tale of a lifestyles, besides the theoretical underpinnings either influencing and prompted through that existence, demonstrates the interweaving attainable among his personal disciplines...Claussen chooses to bare the person by means of putting him inside a foreground of his highbrow and cultural friends, who incorporated Walter Benjamin, Thomas Mann, Max Horkheimer, and Bertolt Brecht, a cohort pressured by means of the twentieth century’s political and social upheavals to dwell peripatetic lives. Richly specified and skillfully translated.”—Francisca Goldsmith, Library Journal

“Fascinating...The neatest thing approximately Mr. Claussen’s booklet is how it is helping us to appreciate the extremities of Adorno’s adventure, which gave upward thrust to such wish and such despair.”—Adam Kirsch, New York Sun

“Detlev Claussen’s biography of Adorno is a awesome fulfillment. significant to the luck of this booklet is the truth that its writer isn't really exclusively a biographer yet is additionally a unique sociologist and social theorist, and he's in a position to determine and reply to all the problems that Adorno poses...In its entirety, it is a extraordinary ebook that movingly disentangles and items jointly hugely complicated kinfolk of non-public, historic, and highbrow lifestyles. it's tough to visualize how biography may be extra profitable in studying theoretical lifestyles or the way it may possibly extra appropriately elucidate concept in such a lot of of its formative dimensions.”—Chris Thornhill, Times better schooling Supplement

“A former pupil of Adorno’s, Mr. Claussen is on intimate phrases with the overdue master’s paintings, specifically his correspondence with compatriots reminiscent of Thomas Mann, Bertolt Brecht and Walter Benjamin.”—Thomas Meaney, Wall highway Journal

“[A] magisterial biography...As a pupil of Adorno’s through the ’60s, Claussen, who teaches sociology on the collage of Hanover, is aware his mentor’s philosophy, in addition to his personality, intimately.”—Richard Wolin, Bookforum

“Claussen is illuminating on his subject’s politics, cultural background, historic context, musicology, highbrow liaisons and reflections at the tradition industry...Theodor Adorno: One final Genius is a strenuously highbrow biography, the one kind the grasp himself may possibly simply have authorized, during which the naked evidence of his existence regularly come to us interwoven with old currents and philosophical wrangles.”—Terry Eagleton, London evaluate of Books

“Claussen fantastically examines each point of Adorno’s lifestyles and profession, digging like an investigative reporter into “Teddy’s” family members with Max Horkheimer, Herbert Marcuse, Walter Benjamin, and different recognized contemporaries and neighbors, clarifying the Frankfurt School’s evolving ethos, and zeroing in on Adorno’s awkward relation to his Jewishness.”—Carlin Romano, Chronicle of upper Education

“As Detlev Claussen’s densely textured biography proves many times, the conflicts and rapprochements among generations have been as necessary to Adorno’s own and highbrow improvement as was once his chronic experience of exile.”—Brian Dillon, Irish Times

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Sample text

Connection with the telephone, so as to make that instrument an auxiliary in the transmission of permanent and invaluable records, instead of being the recipient of momentary and fleeting communication. Most of Edison’s predicted applications for the phonograph had to do with recorded speech; the eventual hands-down winner, number 4, the reproduction of music, was tucked away as an afterthought. Edison would always have a sharp eye for new inventions, but he had a tin ear when it came to predicting how people would use his devices.

Once Edison knew what he wanted to do with his life, the inventions began to pour out of him like water. qxp 7/15/06 36 8:46 PM Page 36 AC/DC in 1872 and another 25 the following year, many of them having to do with improvements in the telegraph. The inventions kept coming; at the height of his powers, Edison was granted 106 patents in a single year. Before his inventing days were through, Edison would be granted a staggering 1,093 patents in the United States alone. Edison’s first-ever registered invention, patent number 90,646, was granted on June 1, 1869.

If even one ten-thousandth of an atmosphere of air remained in the bulb, the oxygen weakened the filament. After trying a variety of hand pumps and being unsatisfied with the results, Edison turned to a recently invented device from England, the Sprengle pump, which used mercury to trap air bubbles in the bulb and expel them. Edison obtained one of the first Sprengle pumps in America and immediately put it to work. He and his assistants furiously pumped glass bulbs for hours and found that the Sprengle pump produced a vacuum that came within one or two millimeters of complete air exhaustion.

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