Adorno's Critical Presence: Cultural theory and literary value

Ryle, Martin and Soper, Kate (2006) Adorno's Critical Presence: Cultural theory and literary value. In: Cunningham, David and Mapp, Nigel (eds.) Adorno and Literature. Continuum, pp. 26-39. ISBN 0826487521

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Abstract

The chapter defends Adorno's highly selective sense of literary value. In particular, we reject the common implication that Adorno's esthetic discriminations are the cover for social elitism: on the contrary, his virtue is to have inisted that capitalist social relations make 'cultural democracy' impossible even though it would be desirable. In Adornian poetics, the autonomy of artist and critic is to be understood as the space left open for a vision undetermined by those relations. We trace this 'impossible' invocation of the 'magic of art' to the Aristotelian conception of literature's 'graver import'. Seeking to extend the reach of an Adornian critique of the novel beyond Adorno's own modernist canon, the chapter concludes with a reading of Kazuo Ishiguro's Never Let Me Go.

Item Type: Book Section
Additional Information: This is a fully collaborative chapter, equally the work of both writers: my co-author is a philosopher and the chapter combines philosophical, litertary-critical and cultural-historical lines of argument and discussion.
Schools and Departments: School of English > English
Depositing User: Martin Ryle
Date Deposited: 06 Feb 2012 20:48
Last Modified: 13 Mar 2012 16:30
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/28262
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