Adorno: A Biography by Stefan Müller-Doohm

By Stefan Müller-Doohm

'Even the biographical person is a social category', wrote Adorno. 'It can purely be outlined in a residing context including others.' during this significant new biography, Stefan Muller-Doohm turns this maxim again on Adorno himself and gives a wealthy and entire account of the existence and paintings of 1 of the main great minds of the 20 th century.

This authoritative biography levels around the entire of Adorno's lifestyles and profession, from his formative years and pupil years to his years in emigration within the usa and his go back to postwar Germany. even as, Muller-Doohm examines the whole variety of Adorno's writings on philosophy, sociology, literary thought, track idea and cultural feedback. Drawing on an array of assets from Adorno's own correspondence with Horkheimer, Benjamin, Berg, Marcuse, Kracauer and Mann to interviews, notes and either released and unpublished writings, Muller-Doohm situates Adorno's contributions within the context of his instances and offers a wealthy and balanced appraisal of his value within the twentieth Century as an entire.

Muller-Doohm's transparent prose succeeds in making available the most complicated parts of Adorno's notion. This remarkable biography could be the average paintings on Adorno for future years.

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She became the wife of Paul Epstein, a mathematician and subsequently professor of mathematics in Strasbourg. He was the son of a well-respected, cultivated middle-class family in Frankfurt. The couple had four children, one of whom later became a musicologist and another a historian. Oscar’s other sister, Jenny (1874–1963), married Arthur Villinger. Her wedding took place the same year as her brother’s. Oscar Alexander Wiesengrund was an enthusiastic participant in the city’s cultural life. He frequently attended performances at concerts and the opera.

We often sat on his terrace in the afternoons, drinking coffee. Rossmann had built the decor for Bayreuth productions. He was the true rediscoverer of Amorbach and used to bring singers from the festival ensemble there. Something of the luxurious Bayreuth style of life with its caviar and champagne transferred itself to the Post House Inn. At any rate, the kitchen and cellar surpassed everything that was to be expected of a country hostelry. I have a very clear memory of one of the singers, although I cannot have been more than ten at the time.

12 Adorno himself, who could already play pieces by Beethoven on the piano at the age of twelve – before that he had learnt the violin or viola13 – is a witness to this life in and with music. ’14 Looking back at the age of thirty on his childhood, he remembered very clearly that, in his parents’ house, there was very little symphonic and chamber-music literature that was not introduced into the family circle. This was thanks in part to the large volumes in landscape format that the bookbinder had bound uniformly in green.

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