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Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life Paperback – 1 Oct 1981

4.3 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Verso Books; New edition edition (1 Oct. 1981)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0860917045
  • ISBN-13: 978-0860917045
  • Product Dimensions: 20.3 x 13.7 x 2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,727,552 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description

Review

"A volume of Adorno is equivalent to a whole shelf of books on literature."--Susan Sontag"The most peculiarly representative of Adorno's work."--Cambridge Review"The best thoughts of a noble and invigorating mind."--"The Observer" [UK]"A staggering variety of topics is covered, moving in each section from the most intimate personal experiences to the most general theoretical problems."--"Radical Philosophy""A primary intellectual document of this age."--"Sunday Times" [London]"A classic of twentieth-century thought ... whose translation is the best by far of any work of critical theory."--"Times Literary Supplement"

About the Author

Theodor Adorno was director of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt from 1956 until his death in 1969. His works include "In Search of Wagner"; "Aesthetic Theory"; "Negative Dialectics"; and (with Max Horkheimer) "Dialectic of Enlightenment" and "Towards a New Manifesto."

Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Minima Moralia consists of loosely connected meditations and ponderings on society and culture. Adorno was clearly an incredibly perceptive mind, and these rueful meditations observe how the wider forces of capitalism creep into the minutiae of our lives. Adorno laments the brusque and utilitarian quality of door shutting, the demise of the French brothel, as well as making broader digs at targets like revolutionary communism. Minima Moralia, and this is probably the best compliment you can pay so called critical theory, is a provocative and quite depressing work, showcasing Adorno's seemingly endless disgust toward life in capitalist society. I'd say it ranks with the works of other great provocateurs like Nietzsche and Foucault, doing the Socratic job of making us uncomfortable about how we are living our lives.

Minima Moralia is also a nice companion volume to Adorno and Horkheimer's more widely read "Dialectic of Enlightenment". Adorno's thinking is more relaxed and concrete here, showing his talent for a telling story and a wry observation. You could, rather simplistically, read Minima Moralia as a catalogue of the sort of observations that led to the Dialectic's grand theses about Enlightnement and modern reason. For those like me who found the Dialectic infuriating, this work gives you some insight into what led to Adorno and Horkheimer's rather baffling claims.
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the binding of the book is a good quality, which is why i had to buy this twice because the copy i got from the campus waterstones fell apart on me. i had to study this for my english literature degree and uh,, i'm not a big fan. some smart ideas but it's very difficult to read and just a pain to get through tbh. might be good to buy if you're having trouble sleeping though.
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Adorno, at first grown up upper-class-protected, became acquainted with the horror only outside the family (his mother was a classical musician). Outside: on the school-yards, pursued and pushed by his peer group, because he always was teacher's darling. Outside: being a Jew walking on Nazi-streets of a pre-Hitler Germany with subtle racial discrimination. They soon would build Auschwitz. The same pattern, which at first as the contempt of mediocre school-gangs came into much too close contact to Adorno, secondly reached more painful intensity in the shape of the ideological constructions and daily realities of the National Socialism in the Third Reich. Though no one had a presentiment of the coming Holocaust, Adorno told, that the exploding of inhumanity did not astound him, after all that he had to suffer in the years before. Adorno fled to the U.S. for political reasons and because his father had Jewish roots. He worked in New York in the "Institute for Social Research". After exile (in the 1950s) Adorno returned to Frankfurt. He soon became a hero of the student revolts of 1968, but unfortunately students prefered a style of discussion and acting (Adorno's lectures were disrupted by bare breast girls), - a style of discussion and acting, which the (latent conservative) upper-class child Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno (called "Teddy" by the students) disliked in the beginning, in the middle and at the end of his life. His literary and philosophical masterpiece MINIMA MORALIA however is a testament of a razor-sharp philosophical mind, using an élitist, brilliantly aphoristic language.Read more ›
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By Mr. G. Morgan TOP 500 REVIEWER on 10 May 2015
Format: Paperback
Not a book for the faint-minded, this book is like Benjamin's 'Illuminations' in being a set of variations on some themes, the result of the Marxist revolution failing to fulfill it's promise then, on failing to ignite in 1918 Germany, forcing its Frankfurt School eminences to crash into Los Angles, which is enough to make any mittel European intellectual think. To consider this austere product of idiosyncratic Marxism happening upon America at its brashest, and to a concert grade pianist such as Adorno at that, goes some way to explain why his apercus are so gnomic. Not for him anything like crackerbarrel 'philosophy': he wants to inspect culture with an acute eye and capture his mind as it seizes illumination - well that seems to me why his meditations resemble a poet's rather than philosophy as i know it. In this he is like his friend Walter Benjamin; when advocates of the group spoke of its luminary they, including Adorno, mean that sometime stylistic genius Benjamin; Adorno was likely its finest intellect though. A difficult, profound book. Geoff Dyer has recently written of paying homage to Adorno at his old L.A. domicile; it is a nice thought.
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Critical, and as relevant today as ever. Incredibly difficult to read at times, and frustrating for many English readers who are more acquainted with analytical philosophical works, but nonetheless highly worth the energy required to read and understand this fantastic work. One can only stipulate what he would have written should he have been writing in our current economic climate.
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Format: Paperback
Fragmented genius that distances negativity from nihilism. His innumerable interventions into a gaping spectrum of social praxis reveals another dialectic to the method of this astonishing mind: latent conservatism underpinning prosaic Marxism. Nevertheless, Adorno systematically pre-empts to division of the social-science academy; 'Tough Baby' anticipates the emergence of 'Queer theory'; 'How sickly seem all growing things' provides a valuable introduction to the complex dialectic of the Critical Realists; whilst the continual anti-nazi polemic vis-a-vis Spengler and Carl Schmitt should be compulsory reading for those 'Critical' Legal Scholars hell-bent on the rehabilitation of Schmitt, Heidegger et al.
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