`If Adorno isn't the devil, it's because he's a jew': Lyotard's misreading of Adorno through Thomas Mann's dr faustus
David Bourget (Western Ontario)
David Chalmers (ANU, NYU)
Rafael De Clercq
Jack Alan Reynolds
Learn more about PhilPapers
Philosophy and Social Criticism 35 (5):517-531 (2009)
In this article, I explore the relationship between the philosophy of Theodor Adorno and the Bilderverbot , or biblical Second Commandment against images. My starting point is J. F. Lyotard's construction of the melancholic sublime in his essay `What is the Postmodern?', which I argue he uses to critique Adorno's aesthetics, and, more generally, his position as a `modern' thinker. To prove that Lyotard had Adorno in mind when he constructed the category of the melancholic sublime, I return to an earlier piece by Lyotard — `Adorno as the Devil' — which is a reading of Thomas Mann's Dr Faustus , in which Adorno is said to be one of the faces of the Devil. My argument is that Lyotard's understanding of Adorno is flawed because he does not recognize the distinctly Jewish, albeit secularized, character of his thought. I set out to challenge Lyotard by demonstrating the central importance that the Bilderverbot plays in Adorno's work, which should not be understood as melancholic because the Jewish Messianism associated with the Bilderverbot is profoundly future-oriented. In short, I argue that Lyotard's depiction of Adorno is flawed because he reads him as a Christian, while he should be approaching him as a secularized Jew. Key Words: Theodor Adorno • aesthetic theory • Dr Faustus • the image prohibition • Jewish thought • Jean-François Lyotard • Thomas Mann • Messianism • representation • the sublime.
|Keywords||No keywords specified (fix it)|
|Categories||categorize this paper)|
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
|Through your library|
References found in this work BETA
No references found.
Citations of this work BETA
No citations found.
Similar books and articles
David Kaufman (2000). Correlations, Constellations and the Truth: Adorno's Ontology of Redemption. Philosophy and Social Criticism 26 (5):62-80.
J. M. Bernstein (2001). Adorno: Disenchantment and Ethics. Cambridge University Press.
Joseph D. Lewandowski (1996). Adorno on Jazz and Society. Philosophy and Social Criticism 22 (5):103-121.
Bed P. Paudyal (2009). Mimesis in Adorno's Aesthetic Theory. Journal of Philosophy: A Cross-Disciplinary Inquiry 4 (8):1-10.
Babette Babich (2011). Adorno on Nihilism and Modern Science, Animals, and Jews. Symposium: The Canadian Journal of Continental Philosophy 15 (1):110-145.
Various Various (1974). TELOS [Journal] - Special Issue on Adorno. Telos: Critical Theory of the Contemporary 19.
Tom Huhn (1996). The Movement of Mimesis: Heidegger's 'Origin of the Work of Art' in Relation to Adorno and Lyotard. Philosophy and Social Criticism 22 (4):45-69.
Added to index2009-05-16
Total downloads43 ( #78,604 of 1,726,249 )
Recent downloads (6 months)1 ( #369,877 of 1,726,249 )
How can I increase my downloads?