Authenticity and Impersonality in Adorno's Aesthetics

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The Impossibility of Poetry Adorno's aesthetic theory bears the profound scars of his personal experience of fascism. Even after Auschwitz, he feared that modern bourgeois society is a breeding ground for new forms of fascist terror. It was said that, after Auschwitz, one could no longer write poems. But Adorno insisted that postwar art is an indispensable means for telling the truth about how the social order was fundamentally changed by that catastrophe.1 Not to tell the truth is to be guilty of complicitous silence; yet, the unbearable truth is that society is pervasively and radically evil. As long as…
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