New PDF release: Adorno in America

By David Jenemann

ISBN-10: 1452912920

ISBN-13: 9781452912929

The German thinker and cultural critic Theodor W. Adorno used to be one of many towering highbrow figures of the 20 th century, and among 1938 and 1953 he lived in exile within the usa. within the first in-depth account of this era of Adorno’s lifestyles, David Jenemann examines Adorno’s disagreement with the burgeoning American “culture industry” and casts new mild on Adorno’s writings in regards to the mass media. opposite to the generally held belief—even between his defenders—that Adorno was once disconnected from the USA and disdained its tradition, Jenemann finds that Adorno used to be an energetic and engaged player in cultural and highbrow existence in the course of those years.

From the time he first arrived in long island in 1938 to paintings for the Princeton Radio examine undertaking, exploring the influence of radio on American society and the maturing advertising thoughts of the nationwide radio networks, Adorno used to be devoted to figuring out the technological and social impression of well known paintings within the usa. Adorno carried those pursuits with him to Hollywood, the place he and Max Horkheimer tried to make a movie for his or her experiences in Prejudice undertaking and the place he befriended Thomas Mann and helped him craft his recognized novel health practitioner Faustus. Shuttling among insightful readings of Adorno’s theories and a wealthy physique of archival materials—including unpublished writings and FBI files—Jenemann paints a portrait of Adorno’s years in long island and la and tells the cultural historical past of an the United States coming to grips with its speedily evolving mass culture.

“For these susceptible to brush aside Adorno’s tackle the United States because the uncomprehending condescension of a mandarin elitist, David Jenemann’s ideal new ebook will come as a impolite awakening. Exploiting a wealth of recent assets, he persuasively exhibits the intensity of Adorno’s engagement with the tradition and the complexity of his response to it.” —Martin Jay, Sidney Hellman Ehrman Professor of background, collage of California, Berkeley

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Extra info for Adorno in America

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46 In an effort to trace this “pseudo-Americanization” of the arts, its implications for contemporary subjects, and its link to totalitarian ideals, I have organized my book into four chapters. The Wrst, “The Monster under the Stone,” situates Adorno’s exile in America in its cultural and academic context, discussing the rise of mass-media research and the use of empirical surveys and sociological studies to capture audiences and sell products to consumers. Further, this chapter introduces the various academic projects to which Adorno was attached (among them the PRRP and Studies in Prejudice) and his growing reservations about the so-called benevolence or objectivity of the types of research he was being asked to conduct.

Moreover, by offering these techniques to media companies, Lazarsfeld paved the way for a more imbricated relationship between the social sciences and the economic world. The British communications scholar David Morrison, who has made Lazarsfeld something of an ongoing project, claims that Lazarsfeld helped pioneer the focus group and was one of the Wrst scholars to forge links between the academy and the business community. Further, Morrison writes that Lazarsfeld rescued the extensive research done in the interest of radio advertisers from its one-dimensional focus: The radio industry in the late 1930s was more or less exclusively concerned with the listener as a prospective purchaser.

I initially wanted to call this book “Transmissions,” in hopes of both conveying something of its focus on the culture-industry broadcasts that Adorno encountered and alluding to one of the central pitfalls for those who read Adorno in English: Something is inevitably lost in translation. This situation is nowhere more acute than in Negative Dialectics, translated by E. B. Ashton, where “transmission” itself becomes the problematic term. ” Hence, in Adorno’s analysis of the bad faith displayed by Heideggerian ontology, the English translation reads: Heidegger’s realism turns a somersault: his aim is to philosophize formlessly, so to speak, purely on the ground of things, with the result that things evaporate for him.

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Adorno in America by David Jenemann


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