Download PDF by Theodor W. Adorno: Current of Music

By Theodor W. Adorno

ISBN-10: 0745694632

ISBN-13: 9780745694634

Fleeing the Nazis, Theodor W. Adorno lived in big apple urban as a refugee from 1938 till 1941. in the course of those years, he used to be intensively considering a learn of ways the lately constructed innovations for the nation-wide transmission of song over radio have been remodeling the conception of track itself. This extensive ranging radio examine was once conceived as not anything below an research, in part empirical, of Walter Benjamin’s speculative claims for the emancipatory power of artwork within the age of its mechanical copy. the result of Adorno’s venture set him decisively at odds with Benjamin’s theses and while grew to become the physique of considering that shaped the foundation for Adorno’s personal aesthetics in his Philosophy of latest Music.

Current of Music is the identify that Adorno himself gave to this examine venture. For complicated purposes, notwithstanding, Adorno was once unable to deliver the various millions of pages of this large research, so much of it written in English, to a last shape sooner than leaving long island for California, the place he might instantly commence paintings with Max Horkheimer at the Dialectic of Enlightenment. Robert Hullot-Kentor, the celebrated Adorno pupil, reconstructed Adorno’s venture for the Adorno Archive in Germany and gives a long and informative advent to the fragmentary texts accrued during this volume.

Current of Music should be largely mentioned for the sunshine it throws at the improvement of Adorno’s concept, on his advanced dating with Walter Benjamin, yet so much of all in favour of the real views it presents on questions of pop culture, the track of business leisure, the heritage of radio and the social dimensions of the replica of paintings.

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Example text

The work ethic encapsulated abnormality in the phenomenon of unemployment – ‘abnormal’ was not to work. Expectedly, the persistent presence of the poor tended to be explained alternatively by the shortage of work or the shortage of the will to work. The messages of the likes of Charles Booth or Seebohm Rowntree – that one can remain poor while in full employment, and therefore the phenomenon of poverty cannot be explained by the insufficient spread of the work ethic – came to the British enlightened opinion as a shock.

The promise of more money left in the pocket after taxes is attractive to the electorate not so much for the promise of more consumption, as for the prospect of more choice of what is to be consumed, more pleasures of shopping and choosing; it is to that promise of more frequently exercised choice that it is believed to owe its astonishing seductive power. For all practical intents and purposes, it is the means, not the end, that counts. Fulfilling the vocation of the consumer means more choosing, whether or not this results in more consumption.

The jobs of the old, ‘for life’, sometimes even hereditary, character are confined to a few old industries and old professions and are rapidly shrinking in number. New vacancies tend to be fixed term, until further notice and part-time. They are often combined with other occupations, and deprived of any safeguards of continuity, let alone of permanence. The catchword is flexibility, and this increasingly fashionable notion stands for a game of hire and fire with very few rules attached, but with power to change the rules unilaterally while the game is still being played.

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Current of Music by Theodor W. Adorno


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