By Theodor W. Adorno
Theodor Adorno (1903-69) was once certainly the key philosopher of the Frankfurt institution, the influential workforce of German thinkers that fled to the united states within the Thirties, together with such thinkers as Herbert Marcuse and Max Horkheimer. His paintings has proved vastly influential in sociology, philosophy and cultural conception. Aesthetic concept is Adorno's posthumous magnum opus and the end result of a lifetime's research. Analysing the elegant, the gruesome and the attractive, Adorno indicates how such ideas body and distil human event and that it truly is human adventure that eventually underlies aesthetics. In Adorno's formula 'art is the sedimented heritage of human misery'.
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Extra resources for Aesthetic Theory (Bloomsbury Revelations)
The characters in each story are quite different, and their situations and relations are different. The sentence will then play differing roles in each of these stories, and our understanding of it will differ correspondingly. Imagine the stories to be about the following pairs of people, and the differences should become clear: Willy Loman and his wife, Bluebeard and his latest wife, and Tarzan and Jane. It is this centrality of context for understanding that is a major source of problems about meaning in literature.
In assimilating the depth grammar of “poem” to that of “painting,” Wellek and Warren are committing a kind of category mistake not altogether unlike that committed by the little boy who is shown the lions, tigers, and elephants and then demands to see the zoo. There is another example, however, that better serves to bring out the kind of mistake being made and what can be done about it. A. 12 Hart asks us to imagine a man watching a game of bridge who does not himself know the game. He hears the players speak of taking tricks, and he asks what a trick is.
Even if the poet were accessible to us, his experience would not be; the ghost of the “other minds” problem haunts this theory. Philosophers who are inclined to argue either for or against the theory that a poem, or any work of art for that matter, is an experience are involved in a double confusion. In the first place they tend to think of such things as intentions and meanings as mental events of some kind; and in the second place they tend to think of an experience as if it were a kind of object, and a private object at that.
Aesthetic Theory (Bloomsbury Revelations) by Theodor W. Adorno