Tag Archives: Dialectic of Enlightenment

The ”Dialectic of Enlightenment” before Horkheimer and Adorno

About a month ago I finished teaching classes and began a year-long sabbatical. A few weeks later I headed off to Marburg for a conference organized by Sonja Lavaert and Winfried Schröder that sought to place Horkheimer and Adorno’s Dialectic … Continue reading

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“Racket,” “Monopoly,” and the Dialectic of Enlightenment

What follows is my contribution (with a few minor corrections and additions) to a discussion organized by Todd Cronan on nonsite.org of Max Horkheimer’s 1943 manuscript “On the Sociology of Class Relations.”  I am much indebted to Todd for transcribing the … Continue reading

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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

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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

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What Was Theodor Adorno Doing in Thomas Mann’s Garden? — A Hollywood Story

The American exile of the Weimar intelligentsia has, like other exiles, left behind a corpus of stories. Not surprisingly, the stories told by those who wound up Los Angeles (which, more often than not, tends to be designated as “Hollywood” … Continue reading

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Enlightenment as “Mass Deception”? — “Culture Industry” in the Dialectic of Enlightenment

As a sequel to last week’s post on what Horkheimer and Adorno’s Dialectic of Enlightenment has to do with “the Enlightenment,” I thought it might make sense to consider what, if any, rationale there might be for a discussion of … Continue reading

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What, if anything, does Dialectic of Enlightenment have to do with the Enlightenment?

It’s hardly surprising that scholars working in the area of eighteenth-century studies tend not to be well-disposed towards Dialectik der Aufklärung. At best, anyone who enters Max Horkheimer and Theodor Adorno’s labyrinth hoping to learn something about “the Enlightenment” is … Continue reading

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