This volume is the essential collection of readings from the multidisciplinary work of Theodor Adorno, one of the most influential and admired German thinkers of the twentieth century. In order to allow a ready appreciation of a specific area of Adorno's thought, The Adorno Reader organizes the most important of his writings into five sections: the task of philosophy, the concepts of philosophy, sociological writings, culture, and aesthetic criticism. In addition to a general introduction, the editor has provided individual introductions to all of the material in the book. By explicating some of the more obscure terminology and arguments these introductions clearly situate each piece within the larger context of Adorno's writings and his philosophical tradition.
"Philosopher, social theorist, musicologist and critic, Adorno is now accepted as one of our century's most brilliant radical thinkers. The great virtue of Brian O'Connor's lucidly presented selection is to make clear the depth and consistency, as well as the extraordinary range, of Adorno's work. The book will be of value to newcomers and scholars alike." Michael Rosen, Lincoln College, University of Oxford
"Invaluable. Brian O'Connor has put together the ideal Adorno reader, containing not only Adorno's finest essays, but precisely the pieces that are necessary for teaching Adorno. Because of its range, this volume will suit students of literature and social theory as well as philosophy." Jay M. Bernstein, Vanderbilt University
"This collection of Adorno's most significant essays, along with the excerpts from his major philosophical texts, provides a much needed single resource for guiding students through the critical force of Adorno's thinking. O'Connor's introduction gives a compact overview of the history of Adorno's writings as well as a lucid...exposition of Adorno's concept of experience." Colin Hearfield, University of New England
A Note on Selections.
Part I: The Task of Philosophy: .
1. The Actuality of Philosophy.
2. Why Philosophy?.
3. Negative Dialectics and The Possibility of Philosophy.
4. The Melancholy Science.
5. Meditations on Metaphysics: After Auschwitz.
Part II: The Concepts of Philosophy: .
6. The Essay as Form.
7. Metacritique of Epistemology.
8. Subject and Object.
Part III: Sociology: .
9. The Concept of Enlightenment.
10. Sociology and Empirical Research.
Part IV: Art, Culture and Society:.
11. Cultural Criticism and Society.
12. Lyric Poetry and Society.
13. Culture Industry Reconsidered.
14. The Autonomy of Art.
Part V: Criticism: .
15. The Perennial Fashion - Jazz.
16. Arnold Schoenberg, 1874-1951.
17. Alienated Masterpiece: The Missa Solemnis.
18. Trying to Understand Endgame.