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By Stefan Müller-Doohm

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

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correspondence with Horkheimer, Benjamin, Berg, Marcuse, Kracauer and Mann to interviews, notes and either released and unpublished writings, Muller-Doohm situates Adorno's contributions within the context of his instances and offers a wealthy and balanced appraisal of his importance within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

Muller-Doohm's transparent prose succeeds in making obtainable the most complicated components of Adorno's concept. This amazing biography often is the ordinary paintings on Adorno for future years.

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What Adorno idea vital was once now not such recollections, however the interaction among the target content material of his paintings and its ancient context, i. e. , what he referred to as the strength field inclusive of the old scenario of the authorial topic, his lifestyles and his oeuvre. This maxim has been the tenet of my lifetime of Adorno, which has been accomplished 40 years after his demise and at some degree in time while he may were 100 years previous. through the six years and extra that i've been engaged on this ebook I had a citation from Adorno status above my table in a body and visual always: ‘Even the biographical person is a social class. it could simply be defined in a dwelling context including others; it's this context that shapes its social personality and in basic terms during this context does anyone lifestyles gather that means inside of given social stipulations. ’2 the current biography makes an attempt to reconstruct the context of Adorno’s lifestyles with other folks. it's in accordance with the corpus of files such as Adorno’s guides, his released and unpublished letters, quite a few notes and the transcripts of his lectures and talks, in addition to interviews with key contemporaries. a lot of different resources Preface xiii and texts belonging to Adorno’s highbrow contemporaries were consulted. regardless of the sheer volume of the cloth spoke of, it may be borne in brain that there stay records that experience no longer been made to be had within the information or the place criminal regulations have avoided entry. this is applicable specially to his correspondence; a few letters were blocked, specifically the hugely significant correspondence with Siegfried Kracauer that's preserved within the Deutsches Literaturarchiv in Marbach. Biographies are often extraordinary through an emotional distance from their topic. this may be beside the point in my case. either as a schoolboy and a scholar, I had the great fortune to adventure at once anything of the attention-grabbing highbrow energy of this protagonist of severe thought. ‘The merely relation of realization to happiness is gratitude: within which lies its incomparable dignity. ’3 Acknowledgements due to the financial aid of 2 tasks through the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft, it used to be attainable to set up the Adorno examine Centre on the Carl von Ossietzky collage in summer time 1998. below my path my colleagues have helped to create the framework which has made it attainable to jot down the current biography. I desire to thank the DFG for its financial help and likewise for the financing of a substitute professor for the total of the wintry weather semester 2002/3. It was once in basic terms this aid that it made it attainable to accomplish paintings in this manuscript. My own thank you visit the participants of the learn workforce: Dirk Auer, Thorsten Bonacker, Thomas Jung, Jascha Rohr and Christian Ziegler. with out their effective collaboration and full of life advice this booklet couldn't were written. part of the learn consisted of interviews that I performed with contemporaries of Adorno who have been roughly heavily linked to him.

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