LYOTARD ADORNO AS THE DEVIL PDF

As an occasional feature on TELOSscope, we highlight a past Telos article whose critical insights continue to illuminate our thinking and challenge our assumptions. In succession, the demoniacal principle, or demonic principle, as Freud would say, disguises itself as pimp, as hustler, as theoretician, and critic of musical composition, and as horned devil. The devil travestied as an intellectual, delivers whole phrases from the Philosophy of Modern Music just as they were written. It is not the same one: in Freud, it is judaical, critical, somber forgetful of the political ; in Marx it is catholic, Hegelian, reconciliatory. Art has to give form to contradiction, like dissonance in Schoenberg, and cannot offer any positive portrayals of utopia, lest it betray it by semblance and consolation.

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As an occasional feature on TELOSscope, we highlight a past Telos article whose critical insights continue to illuminate our thinking and challenge our assumptions.

In succession, the demoniacal principle, or demonic principle, as Freud would say, disguises itself as pimp, as hustler, as theoretician, and critic of musical composition, and as horned devil. The devil travestied as an intellectual, delivers whole phrases from the Philosophy of Modern Music just as they were written. It is not the same one: in Freud, it is judaical, critical, somber forgetful of the political ; in Marx it is catholic, Hegelian, reconciliatory. Art has to give form to contradiction, like dissonance in Schoenberg, and cannot offer any positive portrayals of utopia, lest it betray it by semblance and consolation.

The more it is blocked by the real functional order, the more true it is. The seminal idea here is of non-identity, a negative dialectics, and this is precisely what Lyotard contends with. The reconciliation that he forbids in art is by the very same bilderverbot sacredly preserved by being kept out of the reach of representation that might prove harmful to it. The tragic gives way to the parodic. The tragic theology grieves the loss of totality in modernism, the fact that all reconciliation can only be represented in its impossibility, the impossibility of the unity of concept form with intuition material.

The artwork recedes and makes way for critical knowledge, but criticism too is an authoritarian dominating relation. It is precisely this affirmative operation which is lacking in the Marxism of Frankfurt. It is vain to reinforce composition in the Schonbergian sense, as it is vain to search out the right position from which to struggle contester in the leftist sense: these activities remain inside faith.

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The Devil and Theodor Adorno

That the subject, and consequently its so-called expression, may b e itself a product, and a hoarde r of production, and not a producer, Adorno would have been able to pose the doubt only by doubting representation. The critique of representation would have led him to a critique of politics even "Marxist" politics , and of dialectics. To raise doubts about representation is to manifest the theatrical relation in music, in painting, in politics, in the theater, in literature, in film as being directed by an arbitrary libidinal deployment [dispositif libidinal], sometimes invested in a predominant fashion, sometimes not. By extending this relation to a number of domains, capitalism brings about the emergence of the libidinal, irrational nature of the apparatus which supports it. We have the advantage over Adorno of living in a capitalism that is more energetic, more cynical, less tragic.

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Lyotard - Adorno as the Devil, m.m. (Telos, No. 19, Spring 1974)

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Lyotard - Adorno as the Devil

The loss of the content of the work is thought as alienation. The artist has become the mere executor of his own intentions, which appear before him as strangers—inexorable demands risen up from the compositions on which he is working. What Adorno does not see is that they are no longer even his intentions which the artist realizes, but rather anonymous intensities. Klossowski: the intensities beyond the intentions. The dissipation of subjectivity in and by capitalism; Adorno, like Marx, sees there a defeat; he will only be able to surmount this pessimism by making of this defeat a negative moment in a dialectics of emancipation and of the conquest of creativity. User Name Password Sign In.

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