Category Archives: Uncategorized

Tolerance: The Beacon of the Enlightenment (an OpenBook project from Oxford)

Tolerance:  The Beacon of the Enlightenment, a translation of a collection of eighteenth-century texts originally produced by the Société française d’étude du dix-huitième siècle in the wake of the attack on the Charlie Hebdo offices, is currently available as a free .pdf from OpenBook … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

A Memo from Walt Whitman to the Donald

With the current semester winding down, I will soon resume posting on a more regular basis. Until then, here is a poem by Walt Whitman that I stumbled across while getting ready for a class I’ve been teaching this term on the topic of catastrophe … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Whittaker Chambers, LIFE Magazine, and the Enlightenment

The final version of Dialectic of Enlightenment, a book that (as I’ve argued in an earlier post) may have less to do with “the Enlightenment” than its critics sometimes assume, was published at the end of 1947 and more or … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 6 Comments

Hating Adorno (A Brief Compendium of Nasty Comments)

Shortly after delivering his inaugural lecture as Privatdozent in philosophy at Frankfurt in 1931, Theodor Adorno confessed to his onetime mentor and sometime friend Siegfried Kracauer “I am not entirely clear about what it was that so upset people about … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged | 13 Comments

Adorno Considers a Career Change: The Curious Relationship between Theodor Adorno and Virgil Thomson (Conclusion)

Historians labor under the burden of knowing what those they study couldn’t have known: how things turned out. In the spring of 1941 Adorno couldn’t be sure that he would join Horkheimer in California (Marcuse, after all, was already there). … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 3 Comments

Theodor Adorno, Dagobert Runes, and the Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism: The Curious Relationship of Theodor Adorno and Virgil Thomson (Part III)

On Saturday, November 15, 1941, Theodor Adorno began his journey westward to join Max Horkheimer in Los Angeles and begin the collaboration that would produce Dialectic of Enlightenment. His final days in New York were busy ones, capped by the … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

Unbottled Manuscripts: On the Curious Relationship of Theodor Adorno and Virgil Thomson

At first glance, the American composer Virgil Thomson would seem an unlikely recipient of what may be the only surviving copy of Theodor Adorno’s revised translation of the Philosophie der neuen Musik. There is an understandable tendency to see them … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

“The True Manuscript in a Bottle” — or, How I Found Theodor Adorno’s “Lost” Translation of the Philosophie der neuen Musik

In the introduction to his 2006 translation of Adorno’s Philosophie der neuen Musik, Robert Hullot-Kentor notes that the book (or, more accurately, the first part of it) had been translated into English twice before: in 1973 by Anne G. Mitchell … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 7 Comments

Cassirer on Enlightenment in the Encyclopedia of the Social Sciences – Part III: Into the Archive

Last week was spring break at my university and, breaking with my usual custom of trying to find a warm climate in which to do research, I decided to stay home and make some headway on the pile of overdue articles … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Horkheimer, Adorno, and the Los Angeles Times: A Report on Exilforschung in the Age of Digital Accessibility

The first page of the “Real Estate and Industry” section of the Los Angeles Times of Sunday, September 24, 1940 is likely to confuse even those of us who are old enough to be familiar with the conventions for dealing with newspapers … Continue reading

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments