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ADORNO

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A Critical Introduction

Simon Jarvis

Polity Press

'-J 10- LC.


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Copyright

~I'\~

~3~

Simon Jarvis 1998

Key Contemporary Thinkers

The righ~ of Simon Jarvis to be identified as author of this work has been
asserted ill accordance with the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988.

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First published in 1998 by Polity Press


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Published
Jeremy Ahearne, Michel de Certeau: Interpretation and its Other
Peter Burke, The French Historical Revolution: The Annales School
1929-1989
Colin Davis, Leoinas: An Introduction
Simon Evnine, Donald Davidson
Kate and Edward Fullbrook, Simone de Beauvoir: A Critical
Introduction
Andrew Gamble, Hayek: The Iron Cage of Uberty
Philip Hansen, Hannah Arendt: Politics, History and Citizenship
Sean Homer, Fredric Jameson: Marxism, Hermeneutics,
Postmodernism
Christopher Hookway, Quine: Language, Experience and Reality
Simon Jarvis, Adorno
Douglas Kellner, Jean Baudrillard: From Marxism to Post-Modernism
and Beyond
Chandran Kukathas and Phillip Pettit, Rawls: A Theory of Justice
and its Critics
Lois McNay, Foucault: A Critical Introduction
Philip Manning, Erving Goffman and Modern Sociology
Michael Moriarty, Roland Barthes
William Outhwaite, Habermas: A Critical Introduction
John Preston, Feyerabend: Philosophy, Science and Society
Susan Sellers, Helene Cixous: Authorship, Autobiography and Love
Georgia Warnke, Gadamer: Hermeneutics, Tradition and Reason
Jonathan Wolff, Robert Nozick: Property, Justice and the Minimal
State
Forthcoming
Alison Ainley, Irigaray
Maria Baghramian, Hilary Putnam
Sara Beardsworth, Kristeva
Michael Caesar, Umberto Eco
James Carey, Innis and McLuhan
Thomas D'Andrea, Alasdair Maclntyre
Eric Dunning, Norbert Elias
Jocelyn Dunphy, Paul Ricoeur
Graeme Cilloch, Walter Benjamin
Christina Howells, Derrida

Paul Kelly, Ronald Dworkin


Valerie Kennedy, Edward Said
Carl Levy, Antonio Gramsci
Harold Noonan, Frege
Wes Sharrock and Rupert Read, Kuhn
David Silverman, Sacks
Nick Smith, Charles Taylor
Geoff Stokes, Popper: Politics, Epistemology and Method
Nicholas Walker, Heidegger
James Williams, Lyotard

Contents

. Acknowledgements
Abbreviations and a Note on Translations
Introduction
1 The Dialectic of Enlightenment
2 A Critical Theory of Society
3 The Culture Industry
~ Art, Truth and Ideology
<-..5 Truth-Content in Music and Literature
-.......
.
6 Negative Dialectic as Metacritique
~ 7 Constellations: Thinking the Non-identical

viii
ix
1

20
44
72
90

(].24)

8 Materialism and Metaphysics

148
175
193

Conclusion

217

Notes

232

Bibliography

261

Index

276

Truth-Content

5
Truth-Content in Music
and Literature

Introduction
One obvious objection to th h
It IS just that: a theo
of'; t ~ory of art so far put forward is that
general a level to furni h art ill general which operates at too
resists any attempt to s .~ theory of any particular art. Adorno
VISual art or literatur~ro~
e summary definitions for, say, music,
tempt to specify their
wether
based on some functionalist atmore questionabl~
0 ':;:ts or the nature of their materials, or,still
and regards this kind e histoncal 'origins' of the various arts,
doomed and tedio
of attempt at instant definition as both
us
Yet although Ad .
.
orno liIS de ep Iy concerned to defend the concept
o f ..2!t against nornin
qualitative difference;~ stt- a~_Q.n
it, he is not blind to the
think, however that th e ween the different arts. Adorno does not
th
'erelti art
hose
of the indiVidual
a On between the concept of art and
as happened to art itself can be discussed in isolation from what
:::~
on 'Art and the Art:~
to works of art themselves. In an
point of the colla'
e dISCUSSes this question from the
ary art
'-----'psmgl2:of
<Tenon" boundar. '. in contempor. . m Bussotti's'
~~es
musical
tw
graptuc
sco
rnusi
ar orks, or in the I
res ' w hi ch are visual as well as
e
c the literary works influence of the techniques of serial
uAsdlOn
f
orno ar
0 Hans
G H 1m I
tuali'
gues that a 'd' I'
. e s.
zation' . V.'ergezstigung]" ra ectic of s pin
. itualiz ation
.
. IIer[or 'mte
e
art
stri
IS
at
work
t
)mor
the
. ves for autono
fr
or m autonomous art.' The
more ItillSISts
.
.
on mast my om s h eer h~l1Om.O.!!.S functIOn,
~
e'!y~0"-IC~
of which it makes

Ii

in Music and Literature

125

use.Accordingly such material - in which the difference between


the various arts}s often located by naturalist
or functionalist
theoriesof their radical mutual incompatibility r comes increasmgly to be regarded as a vehicle for the a.rIis.t'.s Pilll1os~. In
Wagner'sidea of a 'total work of art', for example, the various arts
are to be placed in the service of the artist's unified conception.
Any idea that there might be separate procedures appropriate to
the individual arts, and which the artist is not at liberty to coerce
intounity, is set aside, in favour of the immanent demands of the
unified work itself.3 Vet when such 'spiritualization'
is followed
through to its conclusion, 'that which wanted to s iritualize [vergeistigenl the material, terminates inffiaKeU material as something
~e y existent .. '4 Total spiritualization
of the work of art is not
POSSIe,
ause once it dispenses with all objectification, the
workof art can no Ion er distin
. h itself from any other empir-! v
ical stimulus, no longer a 'work' .5
It is in the context 0 t s 'dialectic of spiritualization'
that the
relationship between 'art' and the individual
arts needs to be
understood. The weight given to the concept of 'art' is not merely
a profess' nal m stification of ae
eticians, because it is entangled'
with this rea historical process. The more '1u on
lYrks of
rt insist on free mas ery over material, the less a solu e y can
boundaries b~n
arts which are primarily defined with referenceto such material means be insisted u on. 'Art' cannot simply
be taken as a classificatory cover-concept for the individual arts,
both because its force is evaluative as well as descnptlve (chapter
4), and because it is inciiss;;ctable from the historical dialectic of
Spiritua~tio~ in art. It is a condition of the possibility of inter-l
preting a p osopliically today that 'art' cannot slll1ply be collapsed into the sum total of the various arts.
Yet,as we saw, Adorno also believes that art which seeks to
present its autonomy as abs@te will in the event lose ItS autonomy, its character as -;;rt, altogether. Authentic
modem art,
Adornobelieves, has sensed the impossibility of Wagner's project
of the Gesamtkunstwerk: with the total work of art, art hopes to lift
Itselfby an act of will out of a division of labour which governs
ucbon
artisticno less than intellec~y;;th;;rkfr;d
of prod
. It
may thereby fall victim to just the same charges. of dilettantiSm ~
ectual
SCIentific
work which arbitrarily forces diVIded mtell
labo
togther (chapter 6).6 Adorno emphasizes the difference between
the 'fraying' (Verfransung) of generic boundaries in contemporary

126

Truth-Content

in Music and Literature

art and Wagner's 'total work of art': in authentic instances of the


former this process 'emerges immanently, from the genre itself'?
Consequently
It would be no more satisfactory simply to submerge the concepts of the individual arts in 'art' than it would be
to liquidate the concept of art altogether. Although in Aesthetic
Theory Adorno IS chiefly preoccupied with what the arts share, in
much of hJS other work he pays as much attention to the categories
of 'music' or 'literature' as to 'art'.

Music and the concept


Adorno's engagement with
..
I music.. IS 0f particular
Importance to his.
work. By the time of his early philosophical manifestoes Adorno
was
the autho
f a su b stantia. Ibody of mUSICcnticism
. ... not
nl already
fro
o y ~ ~e new music produced by the composers of the so-c.illed
secon
renness school, Schoenberg, Berg and Webem but also a
range of other
t
'
and Hind
. hc~n e,:,porary composers, such as Bartok, Krenek
Adorno'
~~t.
This early work already indicates much of
music. ~e a ~~aJect~ry
as a music critic and philosopher of
with es
. IPI ri ry. difficulty faced by aesthetics could be seen
pecia ticanty f in the ca se 0f eniti cism 0f contemporary music.
.
The legitim
analysis oft: onlo d avant-garde
music through detailed musical
suppositions n re ~~ o~ unelaborated
or formalistic aesthetic prebeen matched s~
at t e genuine newness of the work had not
It is imposSiJ a comparably
advanced aesthetics.
breadth and
e 1m ~n account of this size to do justice to the
comp eXIty of Ado'
"
..
9 Wh
thi
section of the bo k ill
rno s .music criticism.
at s
of its basic premis w attempt to do instead is to give an account
Adorno's most im ort and to eXamine in more detail several of
of Adorno's music po. tiant engagements with music. The premises
discourage those c~ CIS,? are unfamiliar in musicology and often
musicological thOl:" h~ ~ght
oth~rwise be attracted to Adorno's
of the philosoPhica?
. though 1t IS possible to give an account
possible to use suchPreffiJSes of Adorno's music criticism, it is not
method for musicol an ~count
to yield a universally applicable
subject matter wOul~~
.JIlethod-w.hich _did not alter with its
. .
orno is a Liili-dorno,
a~ady have made Itse~
ethodologist of muskol
ophical CrItic of music rather than a
o
One consequence of Ado gy., , .
cOgJUtive Content is th t h rno s mSlstence that works of art have a
a
e can use the entire spectrum of philo-

27

Truth-Content in Music and Literature

sophicalterminology usually reserved to discursive cognition as a


wayof describing elements of works of art themselves, For many
kinds of philosophical aesthetics 'subject', 'object', 'dial~ctic' or
'antinomy' would be terms which could only be approp~late as a
way of formulating the categories and criteria of aesthetics Itself,
not as a way of describing works of art. For A.dorno" any such
radicalseparation between the method of cognation or Jud ement
what is to be known or judged is already'~atic,
Because
works of art are not just the 0 jects of<5i1T knowledge but are
~emselves attempts to know, philosophical terminolo
cannot be
bicted to the sphere of discursive co
tion,
e separ?tion ~
m
rve cogru on IS a real but not perfected histone
process. Because it is not perfected, the cogniti~e moment in works
of art is still open to philosophical interpretation,
Yet because It IS
real, such interpretation must first of all recognize the gulf betw~~
what its categories might mean in discursive cogrution and w a
the mi t mean when a lied to works of art the~elves,
d
it ill ourse an
Music - constitutive y distanced from exp IiCI
sc
.h
f
.,
t hich is true neit er 0
direct representation alike, to an exten w
'f
li
'
'h
t t ting questions or an
teraturenor of visual art - raises t e moo es
Ad'
iti
oment
orno s
accountof art preoccupied with its cogru ve m
. f h fr
musiccriticism perplexes many musicologists because 0 the, e-I
,
I'
I
d metap YSlCa
queney with which epistemologICal,
oglCa an
, di
. I
. I works or to in terms are applied directly to particu ar musica
I
. al
.
. I till who e musIC
Vidualaspects of them. More provocativ~]
s ,
hi
In the
oeuvresare compared to whole ptillosoprocal authors ps.. and
f B th
n Adorno agam
IIllleS1.eftforhis unfinished study 0 ee ave
"
his
, di
. I H gelll formulatIOns in
agam ISCUSSes
Beethoven as a musica
eger,
.'
te verbatim
monograph on Mahler, meanwhile,. often anti~fa~ectics.12 This
Ado~o's own philosophical positions in Negatlv~d musicologists
p~aCticecan offend professional philosophers
a hilosophers like
alike because it looks like a category-mJS~ake. t? like a violation
an aestheticization of reason and to m~lcolo~s :e less surprising
?f the autonomy of music.13 However, It shoul
haracter of works
m Viewof Adorno's theory about the language-c
of art.
.
d Language',
"
In a short but important fragment, 'M';:SIC;X; of musiC:
Adorno attempted to specify the languageara e
.
ted
al sequence of arneuJa
Music resembleslanguage in that it is a tempor
something, often
soundswhich are more than just sounds. The~ 't~fu1ly they say It.
somethinghuman,The better the music, the more or wrong. But what
The SUC<e5Sion
of sounds is like logic: It can be ng

h;

: I

128

Truth-Content in Music and Literature

has been said cannot be detached from the music. Music createsno
semiotic system.!'

Talk of musical 'idiom' or 'vocabulary' is more than simply metaphorical, in Adorno's view. Atonal music problematizes this affinity between music and language because it reje~s the 'recurring
ciphers' of tonality. This is one reason why complamts about atonal
music are often couched as complaints about its language - thaD-don't understand it' or 'it doesn't mean anything to me'. Yet
despite the resemblance of music and language, no semantic
'content' can be paraphrased from a musical work.
U Adorno agrees that 'music creates no semiotic system', however, he nevertheless has reservations about any insistence that
'concepts are foreign to music: Indeed, he believes that :the
succession of sounds is like logic: it can be right or wrong:" In
what way are musical compositions 'like logic'? Adorno argues
that the 'recurring ciphers' established by tonality _ 'chords which
constantly reappear with an identical function, well-established
sequences such as cadential progressions, and in many caseseven
stock melodic figures which are associated with the harmony', for
example - have an affinity with the basic concepts of episternalogy.16The affinity of such recurring ciphers to concepts lies above
all ill the way in which they relate to what does not recur. They
orgaIliZe and shape less familiar material, yet their own forceand
Significance is not identical wherever they appear, but rather itself
determmed by the particular context. Adorno believes that a
closely related pattern is at work in philosophical compositions.
The baSICconcepts of epistemology are supposed to ground and
orgaruze a philosophical argument, yet, similarly, the significance
of any fund~mental concept is never unitary but dependent on Its
context, on ItS place in a philosophical text.
. In Negatine DIalectics, a work which in general renounces discusSIOnof aesthetic topics, Adorno indicates how seriously he takes
this affinity b tw
hil
.
e een P osophy and music:

~ philosophy,an experienceWhichSchonbergnoted in traditionalmusic


~ryIS confirmed: one really learns from it only how a movement
begins
and ends nothin b
I
gously hila
h
g a out the movement itself, its course. An~ a-

f ~

but in
Y Would need first, not to arrive at a series of cat~0!.1es,
it
t
tCLC.Om.pos~tself. It must tirelessly renew itself.as
what it me~~O' Its own. stre~~h as well as through its friction WIf:h
decisive not th l~elf agamst; .,!,t IS what happens in philosophy that 15
oug t; w e':t. ~IS or ~ Osition; Its tabnc, not the single-traCk tr~inof

proc~: ~n~e,
er

uctive or

11\

ctive. For this reason it is essential to

Truth-Content in Music and Literature


philosophy
fluous."

129

that it is not summarizable.If it were, it would be super-

'1
h with music He was given to
Adornodoesnot identify phi osop ~
' .. 'But philosophy
remindinghimself of H?rkheuner s ':~~~~
more than a stray
shouldn'tbe a symphony.ll1fY'etth~ cO':::atAdorno believes there is
metaphor.
This passage makes It c ear
Th affinity can be
'ty b tween the two.
e
affi
a very important
ru
e
are non-summarizable. ~
approachedthrough the fact that both
eds b extracting for
Criticismof philosophical texts often pr~
arg~ents
in them,
discussionwhat are taken to be the foun
gthese Adorno argues
in thebeliefthat everything else follows frO~e to ~derstanding
a
thatsuch a procedure is no more adequa ret a musical composiphilosophical
text than an attempt to mte~ Both philosophy and
tionby summarizing the key-changes '~ ' :
whose articulation
ti
. in
. tem al orgaruza
. al
musichavea constitutive
hiloso on,
hical text or music
is as essentialto the mearung of a p .,
Por thematic elements
compositionas the individual proposltion;sition at all. Adorno's
withoutwhich there would be no comJ:
. g by ostensive
. n their mearun
d
philosophicalterms are never glVe
hrou h their places an
definitionalone, but more emphatically t 19 g
relationswithin philosophical composl~:~ts
cannot simply be
Accordingly,individual musical ~lal
ills or arguments in \
mappedon to individual p~osophic
~~tion of musical works
advance.Instead the philosophical mterpr hilosophical compOSImustbe conducted on the level of whole PI works and oeuvres. It
tionsand authorships, and of whole ~usI':dividual passages that
is a minimalcondition of und.erstandmg
borne in mind, no less
this compositionaldimension ISco,:,tinuaI ~Iements there could be
than it is true that without the indlvldua
nocompositionwhatever .

. I omposition
Musical and philosophlca c
's
for Adorno
ts
f h
argurnen
ail d
A closer idea of the impli~ations 0 t I eS~g at one quite det. ;:;s
musiccriticismcan be amved at by 00 hilosophy in mUSIC. lian
instanceof Adorno's account of the p ta form with Hege be
Confrontationof Beethoven's use of sona isted would need t~ his
dialectic,a confrontation which Adorno m: ut it in the last 0
'ninmalegy,but the matter-itself',2 or~a~~ch goes beyond mere
Three Studies on Hegel, 'an analogu

if
130

Truth-Content

in Music and Literature

analogy'.21 For Adorno 'the history of music at least since Haydnis


the history of fungibility: that nothing individual is "in itself"and
that everything only is in relation to the whole:22 Increasingly,all
motivic-thematic material must not be merely recapitulated, but
worked on and developed, a demand which is strikingly exemplified in Beethoven's relentless breaking-down and reworkingof
thematic material. This demand places its own strain on the
recapitulation section of sonata form, however: that is, on that
section of the sonata form which is to bring such development
back into a unity. The more extensive the reworking of motivic
material in development, the less convincing is a straightforward
reprise of such material in its first, undeveloped, state. Accord.
mgly, Beethoven increasingly begins to carry out developmentin
recapitulation sections too, and greatly to expand his codasbothin
extent and significance.23
Adorno takes the aim of such manoeuvres to be a coercionless
relationship between individual motifs and the form of the whole:
the hope, in Adorno's view, is that the whole form could be
developed out of the impulses inherent in the individual motifs
themselves,. rather than externally imposed on them.> The recapil
ulation section of sonata form is a point of such difficulty because
at such moments It tends to become clear that the unity of the
whole form can never be entirely without a moment of coercion,
thatsonata form remains to some extent externally imposed on the
motiVlc-thematic material.
Ad~rno believes that there is a deep aJfinity between Beets. approach to sonata_iorm and uegel'
n dialectic.P The
funhove.n
gIbility of all . di .
-- ---'-""
.....","'-. .
In IVldual thematic elements in autonomous
;;:USICIS compared to Hegel's refusal to allow an external limit to
th se~ to thought, his refusal to allow a being which cannotbe
oug t. Justbrut
as all. themes
SUPposedly
di . must be developed in Beethoven, soall
in thinkin
e m IVldual facts must be shown to be entangled
must b g f~r Hegel. The insistence that all thematic material
phasis ~n ":t~:
~a~~n and developed is comRared to Hegel's em
the labour f th ur of the concept': the more so because, as Wlth
externally to.
e concept, such musical development aims not
o Impose 'form'
,.
f h
way in which d
I
upon matenal' but to grow out 0 t e
interrelated F ~ve opment and the material itself are already
less identitY o~'t y, and most importantly, the hope for a coercionorm
,.....cceroonl ess Identity
and fd
material. is compared.loJIegets..hope for-lieves that the str
0 I _ent~ty_<lndnon-identity. Adorno beams placed On the recapitulation section ill

Truth-Content in Music and Literature


. pace
I d
Beethovenian
sonata form are closely parallel to the st;ams
onHegeliandialectic by what he takes to be ItS final turn to
i nti (cha ter 6).
e recapitu ations in sona ta form tend ~o
dicatethat the whole form ~!iIldoes after all externally c?,,~~ t~
Particular thematicmaterial: the moments at which Hegel -id tity
,
.
- t f
t or castigate non-i en
identrtyallowsItseJIm prac ce fo~ge tity and non-identity is a
showthat egel's reconciliation 0 I en I
ced ratherthan a full reconciliation.26
. confrontaAtthis point however Adorno begins to develop this
"
as
tionbetweenHegel
and Beethoven so as to indicate differences
I
h ving
wellasaffinities.Adorno regards Beethoven's late sty e asae:tif)"
developeda criticism of the jdentity ot IdentitY and non-I .- b t
of the repnse u
'm his -last works Beethoven diid no t ge t rid
n r 0 enl :v Rather
ratherlet th~ ideological moment in It ap~ea con~uc~g further
than attemptingto mtegrate recapitulations ~
allow the conflict
developmentin them, the later works gener a Y ear quite openly. >
betweendevelopment and recapitulation to pp ement of BeetWemightsee the recapitulation in the first mov
of this The
. C
111 as an mstance
.
hoven'sSonata m
rrunor op..
t the close of the
exultantmaterial appearing !n a major key a d troubling quasiexposition
is followed by a bnef but compl~xl a~ ted at the close of
fugaldevelopmentsection. When the matena bS ~now in the home
theexpositionreappears, it does so ~'
dUd im ossibili of
keyof C minor.The effect is of an ackno~ e. e piking1y at odds
~~~;
finally,the sort and quiet co a IS sment has opened
Wit t e powerful gesture with which the mo~e course. At such
and whichhas been developed throughout I s e of the limits of
. 'b comes awar
b
moments,
Adornowill argIle, music e
blatinS; its premi5t'~ y
Itsmovement- of the ,!ropo5}ln!lty of su '13
Etc; 'aAAO yEVOC,
f~ceofits own logif. The late style IS the !-'E'W ready see affinities
[lea into another domain]' .28 Here we ,~~t~ style and his own
betweenAdorno's account of Beethoven.
f t is a model fOr
critiqueof Hegel The late Beethoven, In ac 'king the imputa.
.
domo'sown negative
dialectIc,
w hich s.ees knsnecessarily run b y
.
a
"gans
8)
_
~ tionof a 'leap into another omam,
l anywould-bematerialist thinking (chapter .

;W;

Immanence and musical analysis

gy' between philoThis'analogue which is more than an analo eries of allegorical


SOphyand music, then, does not rest on a s

Truth-Content in Music and Literature

Truth-Content in Music and Literature

decodings - in the way that, say, Wagner's operas are sometimes


crudely decoded by a process of motif-identification
so is to
extract a kind of prose Rreds of therr sUP)2Qsed emotional content.
AdOriiO does not think that the truth-content of musical war can
be extracted by adding up supposedly individual atoms of musical
meaning, any more than philosophical truth is just the sum totalof
correct propositions.
.
This helps to explain Adorno's distance from musical analysis,
From the standpoint of professional musicology Adorno's account \
of the affinity between philosophy and music might appear inufficiently demonstrated
with respect to musical detail. Although
Adorno can scarcely be reproached
with insufficiently concrete
mu ical reference - his music criticism continually gives chapter
and verse - he rarely proceeds by concentrating upon a single
work and providing a consecutive account of it. Adorno is by no
means dismissive of this requirement
and indeed provided detailed accounts of individual works on a number of occasions." He
....regards the demand that works of art should be analysed im
v
manentl
~J'
,
on their own terms , as an advance over forms of
criticism which attempt to judge the work with some quite external normative criteria - that sonata forms, say, must have an
exposition, development and recapitulation, or that tragedies J!1!!>l
mclude a moment of recognition and a moment of reversal of
fortune.30

But it should be clear from what has been said so far that he
could not regard this demand
as an absolute requirement of
method. It is part of the necessary illusion of works of art to
resent
themselves as closed monads, obeying their own law, but
his IS not
an IllUSIOn to which philosophical interpretation should
31
SUbffilt. The self-sufficiency of the analysis of a single musical
work Or movement is itself illusory. Because of art's language~haracter, the works do not generate their significance, nor even at
ffilnunally descnptive level their qualities, purely from Within
themselves. The criticism of a single song by Schoenberg may
~equrre not only an understanding
of Schoenberg's whole oeuvre,
h~~;sO a theory. of the relationship of free a!onalitLto ilia-toroc
~
ny,. of the Geaer tradition of the relationshipJ1etween D)USIC
text m song settings. That ~ -indiVidUal essay
be able to
eXtia~st these requirements does not justify pretending that music
en Clsm can confine .ts If
aI . of
a closed monad
Ie.
to the supposedly 'complete' an yslS
. Indeed It IS In Adorno's view one of the pnmary

'1

;:;;ill

133

.
f th
form that it frees the critic from the delusory
virtuesa e ~y
-,
, 32
andimpoverishing goal of coverage.

,/

The dialectic of musical enlightenment


. are not discrete classificaAutonomo nd heteronomous
musIC
. crto"ttre
to zones. e autonomization 0 m~ICttlS a
a~tonomization
same . ectic of enli htenrnent ~hic a en Adorno's accoun 0
ofthesu'
itself.
. is we
ustrate
y. Admirers' Adorno
. his essay 'Bach Defended agamst his
inter-preted as
attacks the wa in which Bach's muslcS~~
U:;etations
have
ou I were pre-autonomous
art. ntal and internally static
pt&11RI Bach's wor as a m?n~me. e' contrapuntal
and haredifice constructed according
to ':1:>Jecti
v
t ken as an artisanal
een tands
a
monicrequirements.33 Bac h hi mse;err has
.
h
as an imp liCl't
figure,a 'master craftsman' of muslcdw ~s tivist conception of
reproachto a supposedly.infIated
an s~aJ:~ been accompanied
genius.34These musicological emphases
.
rformance which
.
. II authentic pe
eli
by an insistence upon hist,;mca y
. tivist performance tra. seeks to correct the romantic and subjec
35
ac s work IS inlion inherited from the nineteenth centu '. tivism of modem
ow
su Jec
vo
as a corrective to t h e sa.
holly heteronomous,
~utonomousart, as tho,;,-gh. his music we~e;"such
invocations are
ill the service of a static ntual
context.
nl to the eeltn -S!f. an
themselvesromantic because they refer 0 h an order has been
,
d bt: sue
ti
o~ective ritual order free of ~
ou the event no less roman c
irrevocablylost and appeals to It are in
roach.36
than the romanticism which they eagerjr./eJrno
s approa
fClth;
ca es an importan aspec 0 in music, and ItS cons ic
problemof autonomy and heteronomy
well as for mus
. per f0 rmance as
quences for interpretation in
oUS art is better than
criticism. His argument is not that autono~
f art is an inescap0
heteronomousart. Rather, the autono mization werfully
at wor k just
n
ablehistorical process which can be s""ct po favour of supposedly
wherethe most zealous protests are ma; ~s attention to the
heteronomous 'objective' art. Adorno
a r in Bach's work. h
'
senceof a dialectic
of musical e nli g ht e nmenealed to b~ th ose w
b ar0
those apparently archaic pieces most :Pfatic music m f~
~ 37
would tum Bach into a comRoser.o
S ariation'
(SCfioen erg to
'Yitnessto BaCli's dynamic 'developm
:se of polyphony so as
Aliornoanalyses Bach's free and fleXlble

l~:

r~

.,

134

Truth-Content

in Music and Literature

emphasize its difference from medieval polyphony. That Bach's


music is sometimes archaizing, rather than literally archaic,already testifies to its autonomous character. Adorno gives the
example of how
The C-sharp minor fugue, which begins as though it were a dense
network of equally relevant lines, the theme of which seems at first to be
nothing ~ore than the unobtrusive glue which holds the voice together,
progressively reveals itself, starting with the entrance of the figured
second theme, to be an irresistible crescendo ... 38

The keyboard instruments for which Bach wrote, of course, were


una~le to produce a crescendo. Adorno is arguing that advanced
I.' II mUSICcan 'pomt beyond the currently available possibilitiesof ~
I rJl-reahzation m performance. Performance is interpretation, nothis- ,I
. lc;>nCISt
recreation, and cannot ignore what has happened to music
[
smce ItS_~omposition,39
The .extent to which Adorno's approach to the idea of progressin .
art IS informed by the ideas developed in the Dialectic of Enlight
~~enf can, be seen in more detail if We consider the accountof
M oenberg s twelve-tone composition in The Philosophy of Modern
USlC. The work was completed shortly after Dialectic of Enlight
~ment and was seen by Borkheimer as 'the basis for our common
or~' and by Adorno as 'an extended excursus' to that book."
th e ~~lI>_o~_twelve-tone composition is a note-row using eachof
e e ve tones of-theocrave;-in which no tone may recur before
each 0 f the othe h b
h
invertin
it b rs a~ een eard, Further rows are yieldedby
(retr -gd ~ Y playing It back to front (retrograde) or both
by b()g;,a ~ mversIon); the possible rows can be further addedto
the
each of these four rows at any of the twelves tonesof
'
US
YIelding a total set of 48 rows
Th e mathe
ti I
.
supporters of ~h ca neatness of this procedure delighted some
entirely fresh t oenberg., Twelve-tone composition was seenas an
hence heteron~ art m mUSIC.By rejecting the merely traditionaland
claimed, a Wh~ou~ formal, dIctates of diatonic music, it couldbe
slruction had b y ra?onal or 'logical' schema of musical contonality, yet mo::n amved at which was as systematic as diatonic
the conslructi
~a;lOnaL It could thus be held to make possible
'free atonality?~ d arge-scale musical forms as, it was claimed,
language had b a not. The problem of a post-diatonic musical
.h
een solved and
WIt production
'thin
'
composers could confidently geton
WI
thiS framework.41

:fta~~

Truth-Content in Music and Literature


---AS earlyas hiS correspondence ;jth Krenek in the late 1920s and

19305 Adornorejected this view of twelve-tone composition.V The


justification
for twelve-tone composition was not formal or mathematical,s' less. aunded in a theory of human nature, but
. toOO. Accordingly twelve-tone com osition c?wif not b
turnootowith relief ado
substitute for tonah , an escape
m theanxietyof musical lawlessness. The refusal to submit to
diatonicharmonic restrictions or the traditional forms dependent
onthem,a refusal which was made systematic in twelve-tone
under '
.,
.on from a Wider
dialectic
~f enlightenment. Twelve-tone technique announces
at
.
by an
n~dlctates
whiCh are purely-"e~ronomous,
given
1
external!authoritative tradition.iare to be to er~ed. It IS close y
und"up withthedistmct
'ut re ated refusals 0 autonomous
.
heteroQomouS
reasonand of exchange-value to to Iera t~an
""'~
tothemselves
43t1a....,:-~~
~~'e
~..

r. d
.
. ~-~_.
__. fd~
~_.,: O""'T
either ""goo
nor
In Itself therefore twelve-fone technique IS n
h
'
,
n as roue (
bad;'the great moments of late Schoenberg are wo
,
. al
'44 It IS a music
againstas by virtue of twelve-tone te chni que,...
.
d
.
,
tur
I
I
n
a
e of mUSIC,an
dommationof nature' 4S not a na a a
I
'
,'t
ess IS a ways
ornoemp asizes the ex ent to w Ie I S -~.
t Indeed
alsobought at the rice 0 necessa
\ill ovenshme~ s'd to b~
..
how guaran ee
tw eve-tone
I
compositions are not some,
f an u -to-date
authenticallynew simply by the applicatIon
t 'piS not a
method.As Adorno points out, the twelve-tone sys em , 1t is
ti
for composl tIon,
methad of composition but a prepara on
h alette than
bettercomparedto tl1,garrangement of colours 2n ~ .Ptwelve-tone

*'

c:

Jll the"llaii1tii1il
of a p-icture.'4 Instead, succesS tr dition rather
Composition
is new by determinately negatIng
a
than by simplyjettisonin . ~
.
considering a conerence can be further explamed by and a bad one. In
lrastbetweena good twelve-tone compOSItIOn
its course untheworkof Joseph Hauer a 'particular rowh~h~
compositionalteredexceptfor placing and rhythm throug 0~7 In Schoenberg's
, .. the results are of the most b~rr~n POV~~ter extent, archaic
work~however 'classical and,. to an even ~ into the twelve-tope
techniques
of variation are radically absorbe d
loped from pre~-l8
the device of retrograde roWS IS eve heteronomoUS
~,:;<-_.
H
's musIc
""""lUc..music,for example. In auer -b o d ned' in Schoenlrd"
b'
,a Ilionis a.Qstractly_negated, by emg aan , tl just as twelve~~,jUs deterIninately negated ..Conseque~ ~perience, rather
tonetechniquehas its justification m histonc

Truth-Content

in Music and Literature

than in invariant laws of music, it can pass away rather than


furnishing the immutable rules for subsequent composinon."
There is thus a dialectical, rather than a unilinear, relationship
between tradition and the new, convention and the breakingof
convention. What crucially distinguishes the really new fromthe
ab tract novelty - and hence eternal self-sameness - of commodity
production in the culture industry is that the really new workis
made in undiminished awareness of the possibilities affordedby
tradition rather than by a Simple forgetting of traalfion. S01Ifat,
for
example, a central feature of the radical newness of Beethoven's
last piano sonatas is precisely their recourse, within sonataform,to
appa~ n~ly obsolete and incompatible contrapuntal techniq~~50
It IS In the context of this dialectic of enlightenment that
Ad rno's celebrated contrast between 'Schoenberg and progress'
and 'Stravinsky and restoration' in the Philosophy of Modern Music
needs to be understood. The contrast is not one between a zealot
for progress and a zealot for reaction, but between two composers
who have both recognized the way in which tradition and thenew
are entangled. Schoenberg's music, no less than enlightenmentin
general, represents a process of relentless subjectificationin which
~o~g
may remain outside' the will of the composer.Schoenrg s relentless extension of this musical domination becomesa
crItique of the real advance of the domination of nature."
What
th
Adorno describes as Stravinsky's 'objectivism', on the
d er hand, uses a critique of the advancing subjectificationand
OIJUn atibon of musical material to place subjective expression
un er da an Adorno eli'
Stravinsk'" .
.
xp cates a whole series of central featuresm
em h . J s music after the early 1920sfrom this perspective.The
p asis on dynamic fo al
d
. b th
of late diatonic wo
rrn an development characteristic 0
new interest in da rks and of Schoenberg's school is replacedbya
static contra t idn~e forms where blocks of material are placedin
ritual repeti~ ,SI : y SIde WIth each other;52there is an interestin
the perpetua~>n~er:USlcal material Or static figuration in placeof
forms whose signifi tic VarIation of Schoenberg;53conventional
imposed On a mu . ~ance IS bound up with tonality return to be
Adorno contin SI~ content which is only partially diatonic.51
and technical b~~ y emphaSIZes Stravinsky's musical mastery
jUstified status as a ance. It. IS precisely because of Stravinsky'S
that he is Worth ceti~~alfigure III twgnfietli-century musicallife
. On the hist cn. CIZlIlg
55 Th
' emPhasIS
I
.
e counterpart of Adornos
.
.
onca
truth
c
t
f
an IIlSIstenceOn their hi
. - on ent a works of art, however,is
stoncal ideology-cont~t. Adorno's target
=-

Truth-Content in Music and Literature

137

inhis critiqueof Stravinsky is the misuse of a critique of s~bjectification


to the goal of liquidating the category of the subject
altogether. Apparently objective elements - archaic forms, static
. figuration
rituel and liturgical texts - are restored to the musical
work,
the 'subjectivism' of free atonality is deplored. Bubt the
. . elements are r~ tored I2J< e su ect.
. t is that these objective
.
.,
act no ess
This appealtoobjectiveand collectivz,conventions IS ~.
. d
thoroughly
subjectiveand~rbitrary than the subjectiVISmIt e10res.56 In a work such as the Symphony of Psalms
~
provides
us, not with literal ritual, but WIth the taste 0 hallowinvitingusin Adorno's view, to chastise ourselves for the s chaic
nessof~ secularculture with a taste of something m~~~~:C:~e
d pnmordial.?Such works offer, not actual ntual ~ it The are
solidarity,
butan arbitrary and fant~sized mvocation or n.
Y
asubjective
degradation of the subJect.58
~

whilst

t t
s7a;~":::

The essay as form


,
"h
strong interest in litLikeotherEuropean philosophers WIt a
his most pervasive
erature,Adornohas recently found perhaPhs ist' or simply as a
,
"
. as a 'lit erary t eons
Impact
mBritain
and Amenca
t critical method
'theorist'.
Yetwhere it has been ho eo.to
::een isa ~oint~domo
s work, the results ha~e m g~Adomo oes notlend
~ UilIikesome other Marxist thinkers,
k f AIthusser, for
, If
I' '
In the wor 0
to this kind of app IcatlOn:
" b tween 'science', on
example,
thereis a more decided bifurcatio~ e Adorno's negative
theoneband,and'ideology', on the other, ~f~usser's work more
dialectic
couldever accept. This has made h dology for literary
readilyexploitableas a source of a met 0 criticism from the
criticism;
andmuch Marxist-structuralIst hte~"7 u1 than Adomo's
mid-l97Os
to the mid-1980s found it more e p
thoughtforjust this reason.
resenting a largely \
Yetsuch approaches often suffered from p hich were to be \\staticantithesis~tween theory and the te~:= ;series of increas!'I'Ocessed by it. Such theory came to resem less text could be fed
lfiglyelaborate
grids through which the h~, 0 Jections to 5U~
as thouh it were so much raw mate,
nsensical or anti
p
me were ruled out 0 court a~~~eo~~
theoretical.59 fheliilluence oraeco~ble
.to
0
ou , tough it has been largely
av
rtheJess created a
~,.I_:..
'a1ectic,
' has neve
""lCl.lt'CQ.C, even a 'negative' dl

ex:e~~

<Ul!..:~t~

138

Truth-Content

climate in which it is understood that theoretical and philosophical


reflection on literature need not mean the prior completion of a
fully armoured method and its subsequent application to literary
works. ~ such a clintate it has once again been possible to turn to
Adorno s literary criticism without demanding that a methodology
should be extorted from it.
. For Ado,:,o, the idea of a prior method is no more acceptablein
liter~
cnticism than In any other of the human sciences. MethodOlogIsm, IS necessarily dogmatic because it presupposes in advance
m~thod s adequacy to Its own subject matter, that 'the order of
things is the same as the order of ideas.'60 It is thus condemned to
ousrecOgruze what it would process. Adorno is more aptly desen
bed as a philoso hi I li
..
.
.
This .
P ca
terary critic than as a literary theorist.
f the one reason why he places such emphasis on the significance
~
e essay form for literary criticism. A central virtue of the essay
O~illS thaft it 'has successfully raised doubts about the absolute
P nv ege 0 method'.61
Adorno regarded hi
'
.
s essay on The Essay as Form' as one of the
:~:~ ':~~ta~~
stateme~ts of his thought. The tradition of the
exemplifi d b
orno WIshes both to defend and to criticize ,s
the youn;
cer~am German critics of the tum of the centurycan also be sacs,
Immel, and Benjamin - but some of its features
critic such ::nCm th~ work of a philosophically informed English
l
essay has beco 0 en ge. The philosophically
informed critical
e
professionaliza:
s~spect wherever the advancing division and
enforced. It offe~~~ b~:ellectuallabour
has been most powerfully
a prior consistent
th h agamst pseudo-scientific
demands for
clean separation b~~dOlogy
and against related demands fora
has a belletristic 0 dil n philosophy and the human sciences. It
r
the intense suspic
~ttantistic element to it whicll has incurred
Adorno regards a~o~
Prof~sslonal specialists, a suspicion which
The attraction of ~h: partially justified.
.
way In which so m
P~OSOPhiCal essay for Adorno lies in the
merely practicable
t~e central aims of his thought are not
by It. The essa addr
e essay form, but actually demanded
.a....5}!S.
ex nihilo; I;';S~S artefacts rather thanj!ttempjjog to create
r~
62I Jects are conseqJJ.ently already historical
stand the mu1ti-fac~~d
~ form is ?iven by an attempt to unilerby pno'. methodologica?'
alllJes ?f ItS artiQilar object rather than
by ItS limited scope fr unperatives
yet it is liberated in advance
0mthe posi 'vist requirement for total
replication of its ob'
Ject.
Th
hil
.
e P osophical essay as Adamo

LJ-

~~?{,::,

:5

Truth-Content in Music and Literature

in Music and Literature

139

conceives
it that is already presents the tension between system,
r
d
'
aticand anti-systematic thinking which is so central to A omo s
broader epistemological and methodological
projects.
An Adorno's literary-critical work takes the form of essays.
Their freedomfrom methodologism also means that t~ey are free
frommany of the more familiar taboos of literary a:tiClSm: becausethey do not start from a specified 'function of crihcism
but
ratherfrom constellations of concepts and objects and the determinate negation of all such professional or methodolOgIcal function speQfied from outside which attention to such co~llations
. plies.There IS according y no pro
I on m dorno s work on
ograp 'cal, anecdotal or kindred material, any more than. ther~
~,oonversely,a reduction of meaning to a pnor authonal mten
~

th .
,
. ..
th n as of hi aes etics
e aim of Adorno's literary cnlJasm,
en,
.
.
teri alist An mstance
generally,
is to proceed as a non-dogJDatic rna en
.
.
nons
ofthis can be seen in Adorno's treatinent of hermeneutic
ca th
,lOrreading,They show how Adorno "d
0f
s , ea 0 f a 'pnonty
.
t bee
bi ,
, h
have seen IS not 0
o lee!in aesthetics' - an idea whic ,as we
.'
iti ' m
,."
k i his literary en as '
confus'ed WIthany objectivism
- IS at wor in
th
k's
.,
. thrall to
e wor
Adomo criticizes both a subjeclJV1Sm
in
k' reception,
p~uclion and a subjectivism in thrall to the w~~ s he attacks
Like many other mid-twentieth-cen~
literary c~'
to extract
thepresupposition that it is the critic s task dU't th~t is that a
rom a literary work what the author put into 1 f' the dteaning
.
.'
. deCISIve or
recons truction
of the author's mtention IS
,
h truth-content
ofa workor of a passage in a work. Indeed, smct t eth carmot be
of an artwork, in any non-idealist
account 0 tru , art be .
som~g made (chapter 4), 'the content of he intention is extin~y where the_author's int~
sto s, t critical of any idea
~hed in the content:64 Yet Adorno IS equallJ as the sum total of
thatthe meaning o..Lthe...llLork...ca~~ifie
be in agree~
, All r eaders may
ye empirical responses to It.
t d nevertheless be wrong,
b'ectivism would
This simultaneous attack on two kinds o~ su J'ectivist literary
a~
to leave us with a straightforward ~ ~f !the work itself',
CrIticism, committed to describing the qualilJ
an more than m
Yet a priority of the object in aesthetics cannot,
Y erything subnegativedialectic, be reaclled simply by deletinge~r'
'objectivity
Ieclive(chapter 7), or by deleting valuation alto~een s~btracted:65
not what is left over after the subject has
to make use of
l
oonlingly,Adorno's essays do not scrup e

Truth-Content

material which positivistic philology and theoretical methodologism alike - including Marxist varieties - may find hopelessly
subjective or belletristic. His essay on Bloch and his Spirit of Wopiil
begins by recounting how 'the dark brown volume of over 400
pages, printed on thick paper, promised something of what one
hopes for from medieval books, something Ihad sensed, as a child,
at home, in the calf's leather Heldenschaiz, a belated book of magic
from the eighteenth century, full of abstruse instructions many of
which I still ponder even today.'66
U Adorno's work were content to rest at this level of anecdote it
would indeed be feuilletonistic;
such elements would not by
th mselves suffice to distinguish Adorno's literary essays from the
work of many other critics unintimidated
by professionalized
POSitiVIStor methodologist prescription, Adorno's literary criticism
lS ,further distinguished
by its insistence on the need for the
philo ophical interpretation
of literature, His childhood reminiscenc~ of Bloch's book is the starting point for a consideration of the
rela,tionship betwe~n the apparent contingency of individual ex'
penence and utopian thought, a relationship which is itself a
central theme of Bloch's book. Adorno is no more willing to write
off subjective ex erience of such material details as mere can
tinO'e
a
'
.~="'::"~-"";-'=:7'"-:=.:=7;;g'
n e I
_reduce the meaning a works of art to
suu ec v
.
.d
. e ex nence of the . Rather than discounting such ronfr erations as purely personal, unprofessional
his essays move
am such
b",
'
bi .
su jectiva expenence to show how it is never utterly
~oub'ectitiv!' ,but i~ entangled in the object ItS.eU. Ihere can be no
jec VISt
terary c .ti '
h
th
lit
'
n cism w ich just offers to describe e
su~a'r. t~bject 'as it is in itself" by deleting every trace of the
the j:t~rr:!atth
to the riori
of the ob 'ect, instead leads thrau h
its immecliat a li~cr;tid~~ of u 'ective misreco nition
at through
_----'==:::.:e:;:, ~I ~on.

Poetry and the domination

of language

A model of what this


'
Adorno's inte ret . means 1Il a particular case is provided by
philology takes"':. ation of Holderlin's
late hymns.6' Wherever
goal, Adorno ar recov~ry of the author's intention as its primary
interpretation
of
It, ~rovldes an insufficient basis for the
aims to recover th ~ erlin s late work. Adorno's essay, instead,
truth manifested o~, truth-co~tent'
of Holderlin's late hymns: 'the
jectively In them, the truth that consumes the

1':~~d

Truth-Content in Music and Literature

in Music and Literature

141

subjective
intention and leaves it behind as irrele;rant', Yet; as we
shouldexpect, an Adornian account of such an objective truthcontentproceeds not from the fixed standpoint of first philosophy,
butby way of a determinate ne ation of subjective; rrusrecogrution.
%cit a path needs to go~
criti ue, an attempt
10 judgethe works on 'their own' terms alone,
though Adorno
regards ~nce
on such ~nence
as a necessary corrective
toanolder philology which mistakenly Imagined that It had fully
interpreted a work when it had exhaustively
catalogued
Its
~
'influences' and circumstances of production, he does not
believe"Thatimman~ncecan be turned into a self-sufficient canon
of criticalprocedure. As in the critique of metaphysics
and epls~!
temology,e:jtiquecannot~~aled
in a sphere of unmanence, bu
insteadis to point beyond such immanence:

an

The aim ofimmanentanalysis is the same as the aim of philOSO


phY:ls~~
k
every wor wan
truth -content.The contradiction accor din g t a which
.
so understood is
beunderstood on its own terms, but none can In fa~ b: the determinate
whatleads to the truth-content. , , The path follow
Y to the truth-

negation
of (subjectivelyintended] meaning

IS

the path

content68

Th

limi
. "
do not however, justify
ese
Is to 'immanent'
cntlClsm
'
'ofthe
,
eizes posseSSIOn
ay
~
to i!..E!'ilo~y
that in any
s
"
out of its \
poetry'
reads its own motifs Without heSItation

ana

semantic content.69

v:

, ' ' m of Heidegger's


~omo develops this point through a critic:; H idegger's recphiI~phicaI essays on Holderlin He a,P~theer
than purely
o~tion that the hymns demand philosopKic.
to the way in ,
P~logical interpretation, but has two obJec~O~e
contests the
which Heidegger carries out this task, Frr~" taken as a kind
contentof Heidegger's interpretation.
Holde~t;Srootedness
in a
~f~~degggr,
centrally preoccupied
I
modern world.70
O~d
with a questioning of the root olicit contrast to the
Heideggerthus reads Holderlin's work in unp,
own thought IS
idealist tradition, of which Heldegger s ent of truth in
:.critical.n Adorno concedes that there IS a m~~deriin'S poetry
, Interpretation. The philhellenic moment Ul f modernity and IS
IS~
bound up with this kind of cntlCJue 0, .n But he argues
a genUlnelink between Heidegger and Holderifement
in Holderthalint
Heidegger's true perception of a mythic et and fix it, rather
's poetry miscarries because he seeks to isol a e

ana

cennan

142

Truth-Content

Truth-Content in Music and Litera ture

in Music and Literature

than considering its relation with other elements in Holderlin's


work.73 Instead, Adorno demonstrates that Holderlin's close links
with the German idealists Hegel and Schelling can be seen at work
within the minutest semantic details of his texts.
Just how condensed
and complex Adorno's account of the
relationship
between philosophical
motifs and aspects of poetic
form and content can be is indicated by his analysis of Holderlin's
use of 'abstractions,
or more precisely, very g~neral words for
exi ting entities which ~etween
entities and abgract@l,like
Holderlin's
pet word "Ather" [ether]'?' Ad;;-rn~onsiders
these
through a comparison and contrast between Holderlin and Hegel.
lBoth, he argues, are 'antinominalists',
opposed to the notion that
uruversal concepts are mere false subsumptions of what alone are
real, particulars. Yet both are equally committed to a belief thl'h1P
know ledge is mediated through experience.tf For both, the ~,
then, IS a reconciliation between !!JlLv..ersaVn4...Pi!rticular. But
whereas, Adorno believes, Hegel's thought ultimately 'declares
such a reconciliation already to have arrived, Holderlin's very
general substantives testify to the ~nciliation.
They
~fuse to supply us either withclearscut
concer-ts ~try
of
Ideas' might do, or, on the other hand, with th~ impression of
concrete livecLexperien~e, as subjective lyric might do?6 Instead,
~ords like 'Ather' and 'Ozean', as Holderlin uses them, 'waver'
Irresolutely between the two. This is just the aspect of H6lderlin's
work which prompted Weimar classicism to regard it as 'formless,
vague
and remote'77
. IS
., Just this
f
..'
an d Ad orno concedes that It
de:ture of Holderlin's
diction which makes him ripe for Reiggfullenanmterpretation.
Adorno himself of course complains
force
yabo t i
a form
f' u Just such a wavering in Heidegger's philosophya5
.
aJ
pseudo-concretion'.
But he insists that H6lderlin'5
eq wvoc general
s b t
.
tends to as'
'1 u s antives carmot be assimilated, as Heidegger
concept. In:::d~eathem,
to ,,:hat Adorno calls the anti-conceptual
no accident _ 'the nd the antIapatory
echo of Negative DialechcsIS
'lle<sed in the
dY are aruma ted, because they have been @their death-lik me_llUl\.Qf tae I~ing, which they are to lead out of;
makes sentime::~~ect,
Over which the bourgeois spirit habitually
concepts are ema ament, IS transfigured into a saving quality ...
merely subsumin nc:p;~ed from individual experience instead of
language in HOld~:lin:78ey become eloquent; hence the primacy of
By this point it rna b
replaced the extra ti'
Y e suspected that Adorno has simply
. themes from the content af
. coooH'd f el eggenan
I

Holderlin's
poetry with the extraction of his own - Holderlin as a
veISe Adorno instead of as a verse
Heidegger.
It IS here thatl
Adorno
~wn
r ading and concedes that if Hei../
degger'smethod is simply replace
by another method nothin,g
will have been gained. Instead 'Itlhe corrective t? Heldegger s
method should be looked for at the point where Hel?egger breaks
off forthe sake of his thema probandum: in the relatIonshi
.Q!Jb
contentincludin the intellectual content, to the orm:79 Accordingly second part of the essay turns to consider formal aspects
of Hiilderlin'swork. Although Adorno concedes that no mvanant
distinctioncan be made between form and content - whatever IS
called form 'is' nothing more than the content, and, convers y, a
contentWithoutany form is not thinkagle - he does not think tha~
theSeteririScan
simply be done away with. Accordingly the ~~con
part of the essay attempts to consider Holderlin's
syntax, lctlon
. Heidegger's
interan d metre - aspects which scarce Iy fi gure In
.
te t of
pretation,which is largely given over to the semantIc con n me
Holderlin'swork _ yet without quarantining these aspects in so
realmof pure form, away from semantic content.
cially
. Adorno'streatment of Holderlin'e syntax offe~ an ~~s
the
Interestinginstance QLthis.lbs 2"',enave seen, A om~ciall
conIntellecruarcontent of Holderlin's
poetry to be~~~on
b:tween
cened, like Hegel, with the pOSSIbIlity of a reco~re arul..-llatJ.1Te.If
!lI\lversaland particular, and also between cu~.
t the subject
su a reconc ation were simply to be ma e U;h~ mtellectual
Inatterof a didactic 'poem of ideas', howev:.:-, form. '[t]he logic
contentwould already have been betrayed by t
I
to the next,
?i lightly bounded periods, each moving ri/?orous
~~Ient quality
IS ~cterized
by precisely that compulSIve a:hich
Hblderlin'S
forwhich poetry is to provide healing an'~d lin's poetry purpoetry unambiguously negates.'80 Instead, .Ho. er f universal and~
ues.theimplicalionsof an idea of a recon~iliatIo:.:: is disruptedby
,/
Particular for poetic syntax itself: hypotactIc syn d by juxtapositIOn
paratacticsyntax, in which clauses are connecte
ratherthan by syntactical subordina.tion.
topped here, of
If Ad?mo's account of Holderlin's
Synt~~d~rnian misunderco~, It would perpetuate some very un d m from identIty
standings indeed. It would imply that free 0
despite the\
thinkingcan be attained in ~ed
realm;f P:'sldentification.
./
~ce
of systematic SOCIal domInatIon
d outside a dialectIC
S
~fW~ further imply that poetic syntax sta;h an act of will from
enlightenment;that it can set Itself free Wl

the

144
, its tradition.
this:

Truth-Content
Adorno's

in Music and Literature

account,

however, is more dialectical than

He began by attacking syntax syntactically; in the spirit of the dialectic,


with a venerable artistic technique, the inversion of the penod: In the
same way, Hegel used logic to protest against l?gic. ~e paratactic revolt
against synthesis attains its limit in the synthetic function of language ~
such. What is envisioned is a synthesis of a different kind, languages
critical self-reflection, while language retains synthesis. To destroy the
unity of language would constitute an act of violence equivalent to ~e
one that unity perpetrates; but Holderlln so transmutes. the form of unity
that not only is multiplicity reflected within it _ that 15 possible WIthin
traditional synthetic language as well - but in addition the unity indicates that it knows itself to be ~~e.81

Hi:ilderlin's syntax could not be a completely new self-sufficient


procedure, any more than twelve-tone musical composition; It
must proceed through the d terminate ne ation of tradition. 11
poetry were to 'destroy the unity of language' _ certain forms of
'concrete poetry' in which the semantic dimension of language has
been almost entirely liqUidated come to mind _ this would not at
all be a 'liberation' from syntax but would only confirm all the
more grimly the power of what it intends to resist. The end of
Hi:ilderlin's new syntax is held to be, npt the Ii uidation of
S'Lmantic meaning, but arQ:i,illmation of the"possib' t;Qf meai,
W~ould
not be the r~!e.ntless_ subsumption of particulars y
universals.
-Hi:ilderIin's
syntax, that is, points to the possibility of VQ!l\coercive affinity between concepts an~ o~jects. As we shall see in
I atapter. 7, Adorno takes language itself to be a model for this
yosslbili ty. This IS Wha t Adorno has in mind when he talks of the
,:.ema~ci~
in Hi:ilderlin's work,s2 and of the sense
that at times, language itself is speaking' in the work of Stefan
George83 Or Rudolf Bo.rchardt.84/But thiSTs Possiole as yet only as
ran IllUsIOn, Decause in a systematically coercive world the idea of
already established Wholly non-coercive sphere of 'language' IS
. dan erous delUSIOn which would merely conceal real coerCIonIt
IS Just this ~~'Yir~om
&OmaOiirination in art which, as we
have seen; Adorno's aesthetics aims, not to liquidate, but to save.
Holderlin s poetry is dOmination of language in the service of the
i end of dOmination, not a region of already achieved freedom from
such dOmination.

:n

Truth-Content in Music and Literature


Autonomy and heteronomy

in literature

145

ial tatus of works of art


Adornohas much to say about the speCi ti:War about how this
whooemedium is language; and, in par
'of works of art.
changes their relation to the idea of the autono:~omy
of works of
It will be remembered that Adorn.o tak~s~:SiS
from -aiScursive
to follow u n the se ar
o. ~ti'
"'ecomes t e more
d thi
liena on u
,
aIgnItion.The more profoun
s ~
ffini
with what it refers
diSCiiiSlVe
c
tion ust renounce ItS a
th ti' c mimesis must
. e jt:
it the more aes e
to,anyattemtt
e Ii~t
CI
renounce any discursive element, an
. This goes even for
. dgements and confine itself to rrumeslS
ts as their medium;
,
.'
'udgem n
workSof art w c have discursive J
ks f art say is not what
henceAdorno's insistence that 'what war f a poem could never
..
import a a
theirwords say:85 The cogmtive
.'
t since the conadequatelybe settled simply by. paraphr~:;;~f
lart 15eSsential to
s~nationof individual elements m t~e w merely empirical mater~hing
of those ele~ents
am II
~
ial, to their having a cognitive 1m or~ at ~.
antic 'content' from
""Noris it oossible to e arate out hter~ sen;heallenation
of art
~=-"- c..--- f th
a literary'form',
because, m Adorno's .View,
ral meaning
0
e most
~~owtion
affects the supposedly lite arks of art. 'Even th:
elemeriliiryJudgements within linguiStiC w alienated in the wor ~
copula"is" omnipresent in Trakl's work, IS
not any judgement
'
.
.' t expresses,
. d ment,
ofart fromits conceptual meamng. I
ho of such a JU go.
'86 I
that something exists, but the faded ec ina its own nega.$Wh t
.ta' el I
inLo.f...b.el:ll.Uill!"
art IS t a
tiv a tere
f h literary wor 0
h re
e priceof the autonomization
a t be t ken literally, even w e
its semanticcontent can less and les~s e a ~orno
crves me exarn.
lisf
0the tic TO rome is a litera
snc 0 ne no...hi h appear
to ap proxWiilliams
w
c
once
pIeof poems by William Carlos
,
. .cal judgements,
ality
inlate to 'reports on experience':
empm
a different qu
d,..J:ake on
.
sphere
translatedto the aesthetic mona ~The
work of art~~M
the
throughtheir contrast to that mona
ed" nothing SI5'~~
88
in which 'nothing can remain unchang
, 'de the work of
th':;::/
~~:.:.::;.:::::::::::::;;;;,.tiirlTn\.
OUtSI
haps "~~
sameas it oes in discursive cogm a , kes what is per al '89 It
It is in this context that Ado~o ~c
~~~~ous
centralclaim of his poetics, that the;;-&njaInin
sma;.
not at
leJlresentsan oblique comment upo~ 'viJjzation whi
IS plete
aphorismthat 'there is no document 0 c~90Adamo is in com
the same time a document of barbansm.

./

1
\

An
~I'"

Truth-Content

in Music and Literature

Truth-Content in Music and Literature

agreement
.
fro' with this claim . Bu t h e wants to prevent falseconclu:~o~cl-b m be~g drawn from it. In particular, ~
barb . eJi..~
so that we could then at least havehonest
and ansed~ IS strongly to be resisted. . 'y culture's conce_t
m do"
ration 0 ar arism
barbaric
.' w hil s t th emse 1ves still dependenton
abon
it of ill n:u'h
, make It at all possible to imagine thepossibil<-~=e so WIt
=-=-- b=
'-'.-mecttafiononill,
groun
It out barbarism
~:r'frOli qumate
least..h
,,_ ecep veness, In favour
mination"
,I
onesr, lS...b baric
the artifice of thou ht a~
e co~sequences run right throughto
yet no artifice of an g kind d of artistic production, since thereis as
form of dominati y Th which does not live off and concealsome
holds, indeed nor on! f e claim that 'the barbaric is the literal'
the demand that thO Y or ~rt b~t also for discursive cognition.
U
?bjects, should be e::n~?t
s rrumetic moment, its affinitywithits
ItS ref rential function ~e ed in favour of ItSpurely !iteralmoment,
would capitulate
re fulfilled, Adornoms1SfS, ~U
Th
.
e consequences of thi th
content and ideol . I IS ought for the question of the truthtensive They
oglcba content of literary works of art are ex'

can
al terca tion with Luka e iIlust ra t ed by considering Adorno's
Gottfried Benn:
acs over the political import of a poemby

o tha t we were Ourmost prim di


~a~~og.
/ Life and death f o~ral ancestors. / A little bit of slime in a
~;
. m Our silent juices ;
rzatton and giving birth / would slide
f WInd and bottom-he a . / piece of seaweed or a dune I formedby
o a gull / woutd be too
Even the head of a dragonflyor the wing
L
'
ar and would already feel too much"

lr .

ukacs takes Benn'


humanism
s poem f to be ex'pressmg a regressIve
.' anh'
t
,e'th Oppositi
o
~s a SOcial bein;,n92o ",man as animal, as a primeval reality,
rea
g IS that he takes th
Or Adorno, the mistake of Lukacs's
- _ ~ poem literally' /
The line '0 daJl .
-~
------==;;r
value in the
Wtr unser Ururahn
.. ,
grin writt ~oem than it would 'f :n waren, has a completely different
im ulse en~to the
literal wis~.
is
ilian mode
~ec
_ w
. TiI9.ugh the styliz<ition,the
g~
It is rn - .is presented as co .
case is old-fashioned raiRer
wish hirnselr:lsely
the repulsiv;mJc
Ii Inauthentic, as a melancholy
that empha'
ad< to and what
qua ty 0 w at the poet pretends to
SiZes his
one cannot
f
.
. protest against hi
. In act WISh oneself back to
Theough exag
mediately asaf~ration,. Benn suspend sto~cally produced suJfering .. '
Ln. his eXCUrsion es to him ...
Sirn lifi s ~ e regression
that Lukacs jmOn Benn not onI P . cations like the one Lukacs makes
y nusreco grnze
. the nuances; along with

worc!-1Jn:rnl~;::reSSed a

~nr

pere a,

the nuances they misrecognize


the work of art itself,
work of art only by virtue of the nuences.w

which becomes

147
a

Theclosinglines of the passage make it clear that what is at stake


hereis the autonomy of the work of art. Lukacs's failure to take
Berm's wishas a gesture rather than a real wish does not only miss
the subtletiesof the work of art's e'5EEession,but fails to recognize
lienn'spoem as an aUforiomouswork of art at all. What Lukacs
teads literallyas a esire for regression to the pre-social, Adorno
readsas an impliCltprotest against socia
rg4.uced suffering.
e ar s a e
cogru on IS not comp ete; and, in
./
particular,litera works of art ha
. eliminabl discursive
momen~:
'literary compositions ... are both works of art and,
becauseof their relatively autonomous discursive component, are
notonlyworksof art and not works of art throughout:94 Literary
workscan therefore no more be read with cavalier disregard for(
their lIteralmeaning than they can successfully be read with sheer
,
hter~mindedness.Confronted with this later thought, Adorno's
ownreadingof Berm's poem looks one-sidedly anti-literal - almost
asthough~nywish or hope, no matter how unpromising in itself,
can through the transformative autonomy of the work of art
becomea utopian protest. In Aesthetic Theory Adorno develops the
thoughtthat there might today be a j2articular timeliness in the
hybndcharacterof litera works of art. As we have seen, Adorno)
arguest a au onomous works of art are increasingly driven to
exposetheirdependence on a heteronomous moment: 'A,t present v'
art ISat its most vital when it corrodes its cove!:.con~ep!. In suCh
corrosion
it is true to itse1I, an inlriilgement- of the mimetic taboo
0n..llieim ure or th
. :95 oe ry w c
s
s. emand
~Oldsliteralreference arid artific in tension, without capItulating
./
o ~ ~iqui
ate one in ~our of the oili~r96_
It will havebecome clear by now that both Adorno's social theory
andhis
h'
. .
t d to his broader

.
aest ebc theory are mtimately connec e
.
philosophicalthought especially as that thought 15 related t~
claSSical
Germanphilo~ophy (above all, Kant an? Hegel). We m~
nowmove, in the final three chapters of this book, to a h
consIderation
of Adorno's relation to classical German philosoP Y
andofhowfar his criticisms of that tradition can be Justified.

Notes to pp. 117-126

Notes to pp. 104--117

53 Doryck Cooke. TN UmgJUlg'

of Music

(Oxford:

0xf0nI Uniftnily l\a

_)

AT, P 37; HulJot-Kentor,


55 AT. p. 193; HuIJot-Kentor,
56 AT, P 194; Hullot-Kentor,
!II AT, p. 198; HulJotKentor,
AT, P 199; Hullot-Kentor,
" AT, p. 194; HuUol-Kentor,
AT. p. 200; HulJol-Kentor,
61 AT. p. 37; HuUol-Kentor,

eo

lluhIbmp,

1993),

131.

p. 131.
p. 128.
p. 133.
p. 20. 0. Bedhouen. ed. Rolf 1ledemann (JllI
p. 32: 'music is the logic of syn_ without I

~enl.'

62

"

PMiI, p. 40
PraM, pp.

AT. p.

40-1.

273; HulJol-Kenlor, p. 183.


15 ~.
In Qruui U/lII F.nlosia, tr. Livingstone, pp. 201-24, p. 21~fa
.......... dlscuasion of this problem.
66 AT. p. 266; HulJol-Kentor, p. 178.
67 AT. p. 222; HulJol-Kentor, p. 148.
.. AT. p. 358; HulJol-Kenlor, p. 241.
., AT. p. 12; HulJol-Kentor, p. 3.
ft! A2; pp. 11, 12; HulJol-Kentor, p. 3.
~ AT. p. 82; HulJol-Kenlor, pp. 50-1.
AT. p, 9; HulJol-Kenlor, p. 1.
AT, p. 280; HulJoI-Kentor p 188

AaNchI WeIIane.
......

'" ......./.'t:.

=~

".

' 'lhalh, Semblance Reconciliation. Adorno'. A.......


of Modernity',
Thies 62 <1984-5), 89-115, p. 110.

pp. 102-3.

-..p.109.

:::.P.106.

c.,, ,....

IIIId.. p.

94 Kant, Groundwork of the Metaphysic of Morals, tr. H. J. Paton (New York:


Harper & Row, 1964), p. 102 .
AT, p. 335; Hullct-Kentor; p. 226.
96 AT, p. 351; Hullot-Kentor,
p. 236.
'17 'Zur gesellschaftlichen Lage der Musik' (1932), in Mllsikalische Schriften V,
GS 18, p. 757.
98 AT, p. 351; Hullot-Kentor; p. 236.
99 Ibid.
100 Ibid.
101 Ibid.

ss

p. 20.
p. 127.
p. 128.

p.

245

:~ AT, p. 358; Hullot-Kentor; p. 241.


IIll AT, p. 351; Hullot-Kentor; p. 236.
lOS AT, p. 347; Hullot-Kentor;
p. 234.
106~" W. F. Hegel, Aesthetics, tr. Knox, vol. I, p. 504.
107 ~d., pp, 517-29.
IbId., p. 576.
1 Cf. Gillian Rose Hegel contra Sociology (London: Athlone, 1981), pp .
121-48
'

109

110~~ Kunst und die Kunste', p. 436 .


111 'let lo.ven, p. 72 .
112ATmlUlsky',in Quasi uua Fantasia, tr. Livingstone, pp. 111-29, p. 113.
113 'E' p. 19; Hullot-Kentor,
p. 8.
..
114A;gagelhent',
in NzL, pp. 409-30, p. 417; Nicholsen, 11. 83.
liS AT Pp. 54-.5, 123; Hullot-Kentor, pp. 32, 79.
116 Ibi;t 358; I-iullot-Kentor, p. 241.

117 AT
118 AT
119 AT
120 AT
121 AT

Pp. 358-9; Hullot-Kentor, p. 241.


p. 342; I-iullot-Kentor, p. 230.
p. 53; I-iullot-Kentor, p. 31.
p. 342; I-iullot-Kentor, p. 230.
'Pp. 137-8; Hullot-Kentor, p. 89.

109.

p.110.
Bubner 'Ober "
Bedin
,~ ...
{ar Phi/osqph' euuge
gungen gegenwirtiger
""'lion', p. 109. Ie 5 (1973), 38-73; cE. Wellmer, 'Trulb, SembIJI"t
Po 397; Ashton. pp. 405-6
199; HulJol-Keaitor, p. i32.

p. 162 (8 Januauy 1963 .


on: Geo
All
), G. W. F. Hegl!I, Science
96; HuJJoI-~r.

6C; Hultot-Kento:
33Hl; HuItol_~
; HuI1ot-I<entor

p"';:

UnWin,

. I~'
w.

pp. 225-8.
; HuIIot-v
,p. 228.
-mor, p. 227.
_<.

1969),

p.469.

of Logic,

tr. A \

Chapter 5 Truth.Content in Music and Literature


1 'Dip
'e Kunst ttn d d'Ie K"uns t'e , m' GS 10 .l' . Kllltllrkritik lind GesellsclJaft I:
'Jsrnett
'101lne Lei/bi/d, pp. 432-53, p. 432.
-4; Hullot-Kentor, pp. 91-{48
92-108' In Search of Wagner,
{ 1>. ROdn" er Wagner, in GS 13, pp. 7- L' h~ooks 198]) pp. 97-113.
S 1Jie J( ey Livingstone (London: New e
,
,
6 ~T: p. ~nsl "nd dUe Kunste', p. 437.
7 """Ch .~; l-lullot-Kentor, p. 175.
'Die K Qber Wagner, p. 26; Livingstone, p. 28.
<::r . in"l1st UnQ dUe Kiinste', p. 433. .
e der Musik' [1932], in
~I<si.. l'\rt:icular,
'Zur gesellschaftliC';:~.,r'?&
the Social Situation of
9 'l\Jsic (ISche Schriften V, GS 18, pp. 72
,
93~)" Telos 35 (1978), 128-M
. Sziborsky, Adornos MIIsikph~-

~ "T: Pp

V"""c1; "bl

l"'r "'0

~h;e ~~?Jl1prehensive acco~~J ~7~~Cl:nd Max Paddison, Adorno s


. ""theli <V'''nich: Wilhelm Fl , b 'd' University Press. 1993).
Cs Of Music (Cambridge: Cam n ge

246

Notes to pp. 126-135

Notes to pp. 135-144

10 Cf 'Der Essay als Form', in NzL, pp. 9-33, p. 17; Nicholsen, i 10.
II Beethouen, ed. Rolf TIedemann (FfM: Suhrkamp,
1993), pp. 36, 45,
99-100.
12 f Mnhler. fine musiknlische Physiognomik,
in GS 13, pp. 149-319, p. 192;
Jephcott, p. 43.
13 Rudlg r Bubner, 'Kann Theone asthetisch
werden?', in Burkhardt Lindner
and W. Martin Ludke, eds, Materialen zur dsihetischen Theorie TheodcrrW.
Adamas (FfM: Suhrkamp, 1985), pp. 108-37.
14 'Music and Language: A Fragment', in Quasi una Fantasm, tr, Rodney
Livingst ne (London: Verso, 1992), pp. 1--6, p. 1.
IS Ibid.
16 Ibid., p. 2.
17 0, p. 44; Ashton, pp. 33-4.
I Beetllovell, p. 39.
19 PhT, 1, pp. 2Hl (10 May 1962).
20 Beethoue, p. 31.
21 OS, p. 124;
icholsen, p, 136.
22 ike/hOlIen, p. 61.
23 Ibid., p. 87.
24 Ibid., p. SO.
2S Ibid., pp. 99-100.
26 lbld., p. 40.
27 Ibid.

28 fbid., p, 26. CE. 'Beethovens Spats til', in Moments musicaux: rlell aufgedmckte
GS 17, pp. 13-17.
.
f.
'Der
getreue
Korrepetilor',
in
GS
15
pp.
251-368'
Alban
Berg,
tr.
juliane
BrandadChris
.
'
'.,
n
topher Hailey (Cambridge: Cambridge UruversltyPress,
1991)

29 Allfsiitze,

30
31
32
33
34
35
36
37
38

, pp. 35-135.
AT, p. 269; HuJJot-Kenlor, p. 180.
AT, p. 270; Hullot-Kentor
p 180
'Der Essa aIs F
'
,.
.
'Bach
Y
orm , m NzL, p 24; Nicholsen I, p. 16
Gesell fe~en seme Liebhaber verteidlgf
in GS 10 I Killtilrkrilik
'Bach~;a
~38-51, P 138, Weber, p. '135.
'Bach:'
, e er, p. 136
'Ba : pp. 144-7; Weber, pp 142-5
'BaCh: p. 142; Weber, p 140.
.
'Ba
p 143; Weber, p. 139
c ,p. 144; Weber p 140

l~i/~

IIl1d

0:;:

i'

39 Adorno never co
which was t h mp eted his plarmed 'Theory of MUSIcalReproduchon,
o ave O'
o-i
geseUschafWchen
ven hi s theory of performance, d however, 'ZUI
(1932), pp. 729--77. \,;ge der Musik', m GS 18. MUSlkali.sche Schriftell V
40 Horkheimer to
Reproduktion, Konsum' (pp 753-77)
Frankfurt School
28 August 1941, quoted m Rolf Wlggershaus,~
41 p. 298; PIIM, p. 11'
chael Robertson (Cambridge. Polity Press, 1993,
H. H. Stuckenschmid
45
(934),301-11
I, 'Das ZWOlftonsystem'
Der nelle Rundsciull/
G'
,
Theodor Adorno a d E
pp. 52-6.
n
rnst Krenek, Briefwechsei (FfM: Suhrkamp, 1974),

Ad .

Ir":'

c:
~

Schonbergs Blaserquintett',
pl40.
44 PnM, p. 70.

247

in GS 17: Mlisikniische

SciJriften

rv,

pp. 140-4,\

-;7'

45 PnM, pp. 65-8.


46 PIIM,p. 63.
47 Ibid.

48 Ibid.
49 Ct. especially, 'Vers une musique informelle',
Livingstone, pp. 269-322.
50 'Bach',p. 144; Weber, p. 140.
51 PIIM,pp. 70-1.
52 PnM, pp. 171-4.
53 PIIM, pp. 15D-1.
54 PnM, pp. 187-9.
55 Cf. especially, 'Stravinsky: A Dialectical Portrait',
Livingstone, pp. 145-75.
56 'Zur gesellschaftlichen
Lege der Musik', p. 743.
57 PnM, p. 191.

in Quasi una Fantasia,

tr.

.
.
in QuaSI una Fantasia, tr.

58 PIIM, pp. 154-7.


.
. . .
d Shar59 For a partially parodic example of such gTld-cntia~m,see ~ema:
ratt, Reading Relations: Structures of Literary Production. A Dlalecflcal Text/
Book (Brighton: Harvester, 1982), pp. 57-92..
.
6D 'Der Essay als Form', in NzL, pp. 9-33, p. 17; Nicholsen, I, p. 10.
61 'Der Essay als Form', p. 17; Nicholsen, I, p. 9.
62 'Der Essay als Form', p. 22; Nicholsen, I, p. 14.
63 'Der Essay a1s Form', p. 24; Nicholsen, I, p. 16.
d
64 'Zu einem Portrat Thomas Manns', III NzL, pp. 335-44, p. 336; 'Towar a
Portrait of Thomas Mann'; Nicholsen, ii, p. 13.
65 'Bach', p. 149; Weber, p. 144.
6' 'Th H elle
66 'Henkel, Krug und Whe Erfahrung', in NzL, 556--66, p. 55,
e an ,

the Pot and Early Experie~ce'I ..Nich~ls~n~ 11,p. 211. 447-91" Nicholsen, ii,
67 'Paralaxis. Zur spaten Lynk Holderlins , m NzL, pp.
,
pp. 109--49.
68 'Parataxis', p. 451; Nicholsen, ii, p. 112.
69 'Parataxis', p. 452; Nicholsen, ii, p. 113.
70 'Paralaxis', p. 459; Nicholsen, ii, p. 119.
71 'Parataxis', p. 462; Nicholsen, ii, p. 122.
72 'Parataxis', p. 455; Nicholsen, ii, p. 116.
73 'Parataxis', p. 468; Nicholsen, ii, p. 128.
74 'Parataxis', p. 464; Nicholsen,
p. 124.
75 'Parataxis', p. 466; Nicholsen, ll, p. 126.
76 Ibid.
77 'Parataxis', p. 465; Nicholsen,
p. 128.
78 'Parataxis', p. 466; Nicholsen, ll, p'. 126.
79 'Parataxis', pp. 468-9; Nichols"", ll, p. 128.
80 'Parataxis', p. 476; Nicholsen, ll, p ..135.
81 'Parataxis', pp. 476-7; Nicholsen, ll, p. 136.
82 'Parataxis', p. 475; Nicholsen, ll, p. 135:
1
.. P 17ll-92, p. 185.
83 'George', in NzL, pp. 521-35, p. 529; Nlcho sen, u, P .

ii'

ii,

248

Notes to pp. 144-150

Notes to pp. 150-156

84 'Die beochworene Sprache', in NzL, pp. 536-55, p. 549; Nicholsen, ~


pp. 193-210, p. 205.
85 AT, p. 274; Hullot-Kentor, p. 184.
86 AT, p. 187; Hullot-Kentor, p. 123.
87 Ibid.
88 AT, pp. 186-8; Hullot-Kentor, pp. 122-3.
89 AT, p. 'n; Hullot-Kentor, p. 61.
90 Walter Benjamin, Th eses on the Philosophy of History', in muw_
ed. Hannah
p.248.

Arendt,

tr. Harry Zohn <London: Fontana, 1973),pp.26-55.

91 '&preS.., Vers6hnung',
pp. 216-40, p. 233.

in NzL,

pp.

251-80,

p. 271; Nicholsen, iI.

92 Georg LuklIcs, The Meaning of Contemporary Realism, lr. J. and N. Mander


<London: Merlin, 1962), p. 32.
:: ~;:;'Vers6hnung"
pp. 272-3; Nicholsen, I, p. 234.
n , p. ~,.; Hullot-Kentor,
p. 182.
95 AT, p. 271; Hullot-Kentor, p. 182.
96 CWrif.S. Jarvts, 'Soteriology and reciprocity' Parataxis' Modernismand ModtnI
hng 5 (1993), 30-9.
,.

Chapter 6 Negative Dialectic aa Metacritique


'Em . . .
5hu/ies .
'.
P1l1C1Smand the Philosophy of Mind' in Min_
CDnpt;n~~ P'::J:,,/,,,,hy of Science, vol. I: The Foundations of
.rulthr
Scriven lMinnSY
UandPsychoanalysis, ed. Herbert Feigl and Michael
p. 253.
eapo.
ruVerslty of Minnesota Press, 1956), pp. 253-329.
2 0. John McDowell, M'nd
versity Press, 1994).
'
and World (Cambridge, Mass.: Harvanl V...
3 G. W. " Hegel, Phen
I
University Press 1977)<nneno
ogy of Spirit, tr. A. V. Miller (Oxford: Oxfonl
4 '"'" 'crisis'
'
, pp. 351-2.
and by Ado:;': ~
such by German thinkers from about 1m.
aisis in science
In 1SCUsslOns ~th Horkheimer's
Frankfurt cirdt:
indiVidual disciplines ~
essentially from the incapacity 01 Iht
~
instead onl
~ve an .epitome of the whole of a~.
the whole of our exist~.t~grulions
which are without relations to
heimer, Gesammelte Schr/;
okoUe und Diskussionen', in Max Hart<
Schmidt and Gunzelin ~~2~
Nachgelassene Schriflen 1931-49, ed. AIh<d
for German in..,Uectuals
oerr (PfM: Fischer, 1985), p. 358.The crisl>
mtz. K. .Rin'Mo. n"I' was an econonuc
as well as an inteUectuaI _
r_
0-' "'" <JOe 'ne Of the r_..
u...
.
.
~mmu .. ty, 1890-1933 (Camb'd ~'fflQn mURdanns: The German
S 1969), pp. 295, 61-80, 254-434 n ge, Mass.: Harvard University """"
NO, p. 64; Ashton, p 54
.
6 Com
..
-'.. pare another Version of this
'
.
...., Kultur', in Prismen (P/M. S:eslion
m 'Thorstein Veblens Angrill.ul
::: ~Ie
as Such?' and''BinI kamtungP'
1955), p. 110: 'How is somet1un8
~hien
" in GS 8' Soz' ...
zu Emile Durkheim, "Soziolog>t
pp. 26-79, p. 274.
.
IOlogIscheSchriften I (PfM: Suhrkamp, 19721.
I Wilhid

Sellars

Science

':f!

~tht:

":J:'"

A_

249

7 Ct. Josef Fruchtl, 'Zeit und Erlahrung. Adomos Revision der Revision
Heideggers', in Marlin Heidegger: lnnen- und AuftenanSlchten, ed. Forum filr
Philosophie Bad Homburg (FIM: Suhrkamp,
1989), pp. 291-312, pp.
8 ~'Tradition"
in GS 10.1: Ku/turkritik und Geseltschaft [(FIM: Suhrkamp,
1977). pp. 31G-20, pp. 314-15.
9 NO. p. 10; Ashton, p. xx.
10 NO, p. 61; Ashton, p. 55.
II NO, p. 9; Ashton, p. xix.
, . .
16
12'Spatkapitalismus oder Industriegesellschaft?
Einleitungsvortrag zum
.
Deutschen Soziologentag, in GS 8, pp. 354-70, pp. 364-5.
13 NO, p. 66; Ashton, p. 56.
14 NO, pp. 197-8; Ashton, pp. 197-8.
.
lor a
15 ND, p. 198; Ashton, p. 198. For one of the earli~t a~e~t~terest
distinctionbetween a sociology of ~~wledge
andd~~~a~~hThZry'
(1937)
in 'truth-content', s~ H. ~rcuse,
Philosophy an ha ito (Boston: Beacon
in Negations: Essays En Critical Theory, tr. Jeremy J. 5 P
Press, 1968), pp. 134-57, pp. 147-8.
16 NO. p. 139; Ashton, p. 135.
17NO, p. 381; Ashton, p. 388.
79-81' Cumming, pp. 242-4.
18 ME, pp. 49-51; Domingo, pp. 42-4. DA, pp .. 2
The Present Situation 01
N~, p. 263; ~shton, p. 266: Cf. Max ~~rkJ:~~~ce;Selected Early Writings,
Philosophy', in Between Philosophy on
oc,a
dJ hn Torpey (Cambridge,
tr. G. Frederick Hunter, Matth~w S. Kr~~ an
0
Mass.: MIT Press, 1993), pp. I 14, PPd' th Spirit 0' Capitalism, lr. Talcott
19 Max Weber, The Protestant E~hlc an . e 29
J
Parsons (London: Harper Collins, 1991), p.
.
10 NO, p. 10; Ashton, p. xx.
21 NO, p. 205; Ashton, p. 205.
A aillst Epistemotogy is Zur
22 The German title of the work translated a~ raCritique of Epistemology).
Mttakritik der Erkenntnistheorie (Towards a
ek t be called The PhenomAdorno, however, had initially wanted t~e w.or 19~5to subtitle the work
tnologicalAntinomies; Adorno wa~ pl~;g
~n I p 47. The final title was
'Prolegomena to a Dialectic~l LOgIC': Brl;86e~~: ~ discussion of the title of
a compromise with the publtsher. GS 5,
.
this book see VEET, p. 18.
..'
Ice ed. J. Nadler (Vienna:
2J J. G. Hamann, 'Metakritik', in ~amtllc.::n~e: ~ 1784, but not published
Herder, 194957), vol. 3. The wor was
unlill800.
~lKemp Smith, p. 283; KrV A 271/8 327.
he
~ Ibid.
il' Pretude to a Philosophy
t.
Friedrich Nietzsche, Beyond Good an~s~ortJ,: Penguin, 1990), p. 51: It IS
Fu/ure,lr. R. J. Hollingdale (Han::.:.
'
we alone who have fabt:!ated:ca:
. ..
, .
'(J Kemp Smith, p. 27; KTV 8 XXVl 'T:
50 'Der Essay aIs Form, III NzL, pp.
18 NO, p. 383; Ashton, p.391. VE E ,p.
.

at

9-13, p. 17; Nicholsen

I,

p. 10hT: ..

98 (4 December 1962~t'

19 NO, p. 379; Ashton, p. 386. ~. 't I~ik' und Erfahrullg. Zur


30 Ct. Anke Thyen, Negallve(F~eSuhrkamp,
1989).
Nichtidentischen bel Adorno
.

nalilii/
10

des

Notes to pp. 222-231

260

24 Albrecht Wellmer, 'Wahrheit, Schein, Versohnung. Adornos asthetische


Rettung der Modernitat', in 2ur Dialektik von Moderne und Postmodene.
Vmllillftkntik
nach Adamo (FfM: Suhrkamp, 1985), pp. 9-47, P: 19.'Truth,
mblance. Reconciliation', tr. Maeve Cooke, Telos 62 (j985), pp. 90-115.
25 'Ole Idee der
aturgeschichte', in GS 1, pp. 345-65, p. 354; The Ideaof
alural History' (1932), Telos 60 (1984), 111-24, p. 117.
26 Jacques Derrida, Given Time, vol. 1: Counterfeit Money, tr, Peggy Kamuf
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1992), pp. 6-33; Glas, tr. JohnP.
Leav y Jr. and Richard Rand (LincoLn: University of Nebraska Press, 1986),
pp.242ff; Tire Tmth in Painting, tr. Geoffrey Bennington and Ian Mcleod
(Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987), pp. 291-2; SpectersofMorx,tr.
Peggy Kamuf (London: Routledge, 1994), p. 27.
27 Derrida, "The Politics of Friendship', The ]oumal of Philosophy, vol. 85, no. 11
( overnber 1988), 632-44.
28 Derrida, Psyche: lnuentums de l'Autre (Paris: Galilee, 1987),P: 163
29 "The Politics of Friendship', 632-4.
30 Ibid.
31 ND, p. 263; Ashton, p. 266.
32 Max Horkheimer, 'Materialism and Metaphysics', in Critical Theory:
Selected Essays, IT. Matthew J. O'Connell et al. (New York: Continuum,
19 2), pp. 10-46.
C. 'OiskussionsprotokoUe'

33

34
35
36
37

in Max Horkheimer

Gesammelte

Schrijtefl vol.
l

12, ed. Gunzelin Schmid Noerr and Alfred Schmidt (FfM: Fischer,1985),
pp.476-83.
f. Das Uller.~liirt Modeme: Berlil1er Adorno- Tagung, ed. Frithjof Hager and
~ nnann Pfutze (Liineburg: zu Klampen, 1990).
aDbermas, Theory of Communicative Action, vol. 1, p. 385.
N , pp. 27-9; Ashton pp 15-18
Gilli
'
,.
.
.
Mod an Rose, . From Speculative to Dialectical Thinking' in JudO/smand
chae~n.;.;:~: Pllliosophicat Essays (Oxford: Blackwell, 1993), pp. 53-03;Mi
Traktnt (Ber~~en, Hegels Lehre Dam absoluten Geist als theologlSch-polltlScher
the affinity l:;~e ~yter,
1970), p. 32. Other commentators have regard~
Bowie Shit
elling as redounding to Adorno's credit: d. Andre"
I 993),'p. ~~. mg and Modern European Philosophy (London: Routledge,

38 Cf. Anke Thyen N


.
.
... dNichtidentiSCl
b'. egatJve Dmlektik und Erfahnmg. Zur Rationahfat es
niskritik IIn/~:~ :; Adorno (FfM: 5uhrkamp, 1989); Ulrich MiiIler, Erk!mlReJlektierlheit (F~ .I~ Metaphysik bei Adorno. Eine Philosophie der dnffea
39 ND, p. 29 Asht
. thenaum, 1988).
40 Thyen
at' on,. pp. 17-18.
41 Adom'o togH~~~:;;::ktik
lind Erfahrung, p. 165.
Frankfurt Schoot IT ;:; 20 October 1952. Quoted in Rolf WiggershaUS~,
p. 456.
,.
chael Robertson (Cambridge: Polity Press, 1993,

N;

~ ~'

p. 381; Ashton, p. 358.


, p. 100; Ashton p 93 F
rth,
The PrelUde: A ParafIel'Tj . or the verses quoted, see William Wordswo k
x, II. 813-14).
ext, ed.). C. Maxwell (pp. 446-S) (1805-6text,boO

Bibliography

This bibliography is selective. It includes only books and articles cited in the
t~xt.and a few other works which may be of further help. For larger
bibliographies see Rene Cortzen, 'Theodor W. Adorno. Vorlaufige Bibliographie seiner Schriften und der Sekundarliteratur', in Ludwig von Friedeburg
and Iurgen Habermas, eds, Adomo-Konierenz 1983 (FfM: Suhrkamp, 1983),
pp. 402-71; Klaus Schultz, 'Vorliiufige Bibliographie der Schriften Theodor
W. Adomos' in Hermann Schweppenhauser, ed., Theodor W. Adorno ZUni
Gediichtnis (FfM: Suhrkamp, 1971), pp. 177-242; Peter Christian Lang,
'Commentierte AuswaWsbibliographie 1969-1979', in Burkhardt Lindner and
W. Martin Ludke, eds, Materialien zur ttsthetischen Theone Theodor W. Adornoe
(FfM:Suhrkamp, 1980), pp. 509-56.

Works by Adorno
GesammetteSchriften (23 vols, FfM: Suhrkamp, 1970-). Volumes are edited by
~olfTIedemann except where otherwise indicated. The d~te ~ffirs~pUbhC:~
ticn (or completion

for previously

unpublished

works) 15 gIven m squa

brackets.
~ (1973)Philosophische Friihschrif/en
.'
.. _
Die Transzendenz des Dinglichen und NoematiSchen m Husserls Phano
menologie' [1924]
,
'Der Begriffdes UnbewuIlten in der transzendentalen Seelenlehre [1927]
'DieAktualitiit der Philosophie' [1931]
'DieIdee der Naturgeschichte' [19321
Thesen uber die 5prache des philosophen' [early 1930s]
2 (1979)Kierkeganrd. KOllstruktion des Asthetlschen [19331
3 (1981)(with Max Horkheimer) Dialektik der Aufkliirung [1944]
4 (1980)Minima MoraUa. ReJlexionen aus dem besclJiidi~en .Leben [1951lllnd die
S (]971) 211r Metakritik der Erkenntnlstheorre. Studren IIber Husser
p'!"nomenologischen Antinomien [1956]
DrerStudien zu Hegel [1963]

Bibliography

Bibliography

262

263

(with Emst Krenek)

Theodor W. Adorno und Ernst Krenek. Brieftcechse/, ed.


WoUgangRogge (FfM: Suhrkamp, 1974)
Vorlesungenzur Asthetik 1967-8 (Zurich: H. Mayer Nachfolger, 1973)
Vorlesungzllr Einleitung in die Erkenntnistheorie 1957-58 (FfM: Junius, n.d.)
Vor/esungzur Einleitung ill die Soziologie (FfM: [unius, 1973)

6 (1973) Negative Dialektik (1966)


Jargoll der Eigenilichkeit, Zur deutscnen Iaeotogie [1964)
7 (1970) Astl.etische Theone [1970)
8 (1972) Soziologische Schriftell I [various]
9.1 (1975) Soziologische Schriften II. Erste Halfte

'The Psychological Technique of Martin Luther Thomas's Radio Addresses'


(1943)

Translations and Publications in English

StudIes in the Authoritarian Personality [1950]


9.2 (975) Soziologisch Schriften TJ. Zweite Halfte
TIre Stars dOWII to Earth [1957J
Sclrutd lII.d Abwelrr [1955J
10.1 09m Kulturkritik und Gesellsclraft I
Prismen (1955)
Olll.e Leitbild. Paroa Aesihetica [1967]
10.2 09m Kulturkritik
lind Gesellsd.aft TJ
Eingr.ffe 11963J
Slid.worte [1969]
11 (974) Noren ZlIr Litemtur [1958; 1961; 1965]
12 (975) Philosophie der neuen Mllsik [1949]
13 (973) Die musikaiischen Monographien
Verslld. ilber Wagner f1952]
Berg. Der Meislerdes Kleinsten abergallgs [1968]
Mahler. Eme ntusiknlische Pirysiogllolllik [1960)
14 (973) Dissonanzen [1956]
Eiuleitrmg in die Musiksoziologie [19621
15 (976) Kamposilioll iur dell Film [1944' 1969]
Der getrelle Korrepetitor [1963)
,
16 (1979) Mllsikatiscire SChriften ILl
Klallgfigllrell [1959J

Aesthetic Theory, tr. C. Lenhardt (London: Routledge, 1984) (This translation is


unreliableand has been withdrawn by the publishers)
Aesthetic Theory, tr. Robert Hullot-Kentor (London: Athlone, 1997)
Against Epistem%gy, tr. Willis Domingo (Oxford: Blackwell, 1982)
Alball8erg: Master of the Smallest Link, tr. Juliane Brand and Christopher Hailey
(Cambridge:Cambridge University Press, 1991)
Aspects of Sociology, tr. John Viertel (Boston: Beacon Press, 1972)
(with Else Funkel-Brunswtk, Daniel J. Levinson and R. Nevitt Sanford, in
collaboration with Betty Aron, Maria Hertz Levinson and William Morr~w)
The Authoritarian Persollalily (New York: Harper, 1950 (Studies in Prejudice,
vol. 1
(with Hanns Eisler) Composing for Films, ed. Graham McCann (London:
AthIone,1994)
The Culture Industry: Selected Essays on Mass Culture, ed. ]. M. Bernstein
(London:Routledge, 1991)
.
(WIth Max Horkheimer) Dialectic of Enlightenment,
tr. John Cummmg (New
York:Seabury Press, 1972)
Heget: Three Studies, tr. Shierry Weber Nicholsen (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT
Press, 1993)
In Search of Wagner, tr. Rodney Livingstone (London: Verso, 1981)
Introduction 10 the Sociology of MIISic,tr. E. B. Ashton (New York: Seabury Press,

Quas; una Fantasia [1963]


17 (982) Mllsikaliscire SClrriflell IV

Mome"ts Mllsicaux f1964]


ImpromptllS [1968]
18(984) Musikalisclre SChriflen
19 (984) Mllsikalisd.e
Schriften
20.1 (986) Vermisclrte SChriftell
20.2 (1986) Vermischte Schrift-en
The follOwing texts of I
are those so far aVail~

1976)

V [va'
]
VI [ nous]
I [ vanojs
II

[:a~:s]

courses, correspondence

and unfinished works

Beethovell: Philosophie de M 'k


S~hrkamp, 1993)
r liS. Fragmente IIl1d Texte, ed. Rolf Tiedemann (FfM:
Erz,ehung Zur Miindigkeit Vi
ed. Cerd Kadelbach (FiMo~rage IIl1d Gesprache mit Hellmut Becker, 1959-69,
Plulosophische Terminolog'
<FfM
uhrkamp, 1970)
(with Walter Ben'a . Ie.
: Suhrkamp, 1973-4)
!<amp, 1994);
Brreftcechsel 1928-1940, ed. Henri Lonitz (FfM: Suhr(with Alfred Sohn-R on forthcoming (Cambridge: Polity Press)
<Munich: Editio ~ ethel) Brleftcechsel 1936-1969,
ed. Christoph Gadde
n .ext und Kritik, 1991)
o.

jansm:

The Jargon of Allihenticity,


tr. Knut Tarnowski and Frederic Will (London:
Routledge, 1973)
.
lis'
KierkegQard:Construction of the Aesthetic, IT.Robert Hullot-Kentor (Minneapo
.
Univomityof Minnesota Press, 1989)
.
i of
Milhler: A Mllsical Physiognomy, tr. E. F. N. Jephcott (Chicago: Drovers ty
ChicagoPress, 1992)
Minima Mora/ia, tr. E. F. N. Jephcott (London: New Left Books, 1974)
Negative Dialeclics, tr. E. B. Ashton (London: Routledge, 1973) Y k: Columbia
Notes.t0 Literature, tr. Shierry Weber Nicholsen (2 vals, New or.
UruversityPress, 1991-2)
.
Wesle V. BJomster
The Ph.losophy of Modem Music, tr. Anne G. Mitchell and
Y
(New.York: Seabury Press, 1973) .
and David Frisby
The Posr!.o.sl Dispute in Gemlall SOCIOlogy, tr. Glyn Adey
(London:Heinemann, 1976)
.
. MIT Press, 1981)
Pnsms, tr. Samuel and Shierry Weber (Cambndge, M:ssiiVingstone (London:
Quas, una Fantasia: Essays on Modern MustC, tr. Rodn y
Verso,1992)
.
I'n Cultllre ed. Stephen
The Stars down to Earth and other Essays 011 the Irrahona I
Crook <London: Routledge, 1994)
I

264

Bibliography

Bibliography

Articles in English and Translations into English


Only those articles which are not more conveniently
are listed here.

available in collections

'Th Actuality of Philosophy', Telos 31 (977), 12(}-33


'Alienated Masterpiece: The Missa Solemnis' (959), Telos 28 (1976),11~24
, ontemporary German Sociology', in Transactions of the Fourth World Congress
of Sociology (London: International Sociological Association, 19S9),vol. 1,
pp.33-56
'Education for Autonomy' 0%9) (with HeIlmut Becker), Telos S5-<;(1983),
1m-10
'Functionalism Today', Oppositions 17 (979), 31-41
'Goldmann and Adorno: To Describe, Understand and Explain' (1968),in
Lucien Goldmann, Cultural Creation in Modern Society, tr. Bart Grahl (Oxford:
Blackwell, 1976), pp. 129-45
'The Idea of Natural History' (932), Telos 60 (984), 111-24
"ls Marx Obsolete?', Diogenes 64 0%8), 1-16 (tr, of 'SpiitkapitaIismus oder
lndustriegeseUschaft?')
'Jazz', in Ellryc/opaedia of the Arts, ed. Dagobert D. Runes and Harry G.
Schrickel (New York: Philosophical Library, 1946), pp. 511-13
'Music and Technique' (958), Telos 32 (977), 79-94
'MUSICand the New Music: In Memory of Peter Suhrkamp' (1960),Telos43
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