Summer 1996 • Vol. XVIII No. 3/4 Kenyon Review Classics |

Adorno’s Ascetic Formula

In 1945 Adorno published two essays in The Review, one on the broadcasting of classical music on the radio, the other on the need for a continued separation between art and religion. Adomo was not then a modem master—Martin Jay's excellent volume on Adorno appeared in a British series with this title in 1984—and had published none of the works on which his current, late-blooming fame rests. The Dialectic of Enlightenment, written with Max Horkheimer, appeared in 1947; the wondrous Minima Moralia in 1951; Negative Dialectics only in 1966. Adomo died in 1969. But even in 1945 the forty-two-year-old exile was a distinguished figure, billed in The Review as a person who "formerly taught philosophy at Frankfurt University and edited Anbruch, the Viennese periodical for modem music. His books include works on Kierkegaard, Richard Wagner, George, and Hoffmannsthal." Philosophy, music, literature: they came together in what Jay calls Adomo's aesthetic modemism, and we have a haunting pi

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Michael Wood is professor of English at Princeton University. His most recent books are Literature and the Taste of Knowledge (2005) and Yeats and Violence (2010).

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This, Here, Now

By Michael Wood

In 1945 Adorno published two essays in The Review, one on the broadcasting of classical music on the radio, the other on the need for a continued separation between art […]

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