Adorno's aesthetic concept of aura

Philosophy and Social Criticism 33 (2):155-177 (2007)
Philosophers within the discipline of the history of philosophy have long since demonstrated a preoccupation with the history of aesthetic ideas. However, not all aesthetic concepts in 19th- and 20th-century thought have been given an adequate analysis. One concept which, while attracting interest in literary theory debates, has rarely been mentioned in history of philosophy debates, is that of aura . The reason for the marginal role of aura in present debates is due no doubt to the difficult and sometimes utterly obscure nature of Adorno's texts, which often veils their underlying philosophical content. Aura concept is important because it represents a still rather neglected strand of Adorno's Aesthetische Theorie , which has often been regarded as solely an avocation of the aesthetics of the ‘New’. This article offers an original and in-depth analysis of this key concept showing how significant it is to Adorno's overall project. Key Words: Theodor Adorno • aesthetics • aura • Walter Benjamin • distance • gaze • proximity • receptivity.
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DOI 10.1177/0191453707074137
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