Aesthetics and Politics: Debates Between Bloch, Lukacs, Brecht, Benjamin, Adorno

Aesthetics and Politics: Debates Between Bloch, Lukacs, Brecht, Benjamin, Adorno

Language: English

Pages: 220

ISBN: 0860917223

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


An analysis of the relations between art and socialism unfolding in German culture between the 30's through the 50's.

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broad the mind Thoughts dwell easily side by side Things coUide violently in space." sc. 2) Lukacs against Bloch 36 Bloch admires so hugely. so Given his modem themes, why does Thomas Mann remain t clamber on fashioned', so 'traditional' ; why does he choose not � . IS a true the bandwagon of modernism? Precisely because he . . creatIve artist, a term which in this case signifies primarily that, as a Kroger and knows exactly who Christian Buddenbrook, who Tonio have to know not Hans Castorp,

sending them, still remains unclear. Benjamin, to he read some of the texts, reports that: 'He asked my advice whether publish them. As, at the same time, he told me that Lukacs's po;sition' "over there" is at the moment very strong, I . told him I could offer advice. "There are questions of power involved. You ought to get opinion of someone from over there. You've got friends there h",.n'" you ?" - Brecht: "Actually, no, I haven't. Neither have the , themselves - like the dead."'4 At the height

potentially lucid and com­ prehensible to the spectators for whom it was designed, cannot be doubted. The magnitude of this achievement is suggested by its very isolation. After the Second World War, despite a plethora of socialist writers, no comparable work was produced anywhere in Europe; while in the West, the ascent of Beckett (critically consecrated by Adorno) as a new avatar of 'high' art, was actually to provoke Brecht to plan a play deliberately intended as an antidote to Godot. The

pains with his work is a good-for-nothing. Indifference to style, we may remark in passing, is almost always symptomatic of the dogmatic sclerosis of content. The false modesty implicit in a style which believes itself to be dispassionate, as long as it abstains from self-reflection, only succeeds in concealing the fact that it has purified the dialectical process of its objective, as well as its subjective, value. Dialectics are paid lip-service, but for such a thinker all has been decided in

for which he cannot forgive the Fascists, even though they will have none of it either in fact entirely share his opinion. The importance of Expressionism is to be found exactly where Ziegler condemns it: it undermined the schematic routines and academicism to which the 'values of art' had been reduced. Instead of eternal 'formal analyses' of the work of art, it directed attention to human beings and their substance, in their quest for the most authentic expression possible. There is no doubt

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