Thursday, 20 January 2011

Being & Tim's Holiday: Day 4

Chillin' at the Grand Hotel Abyss with Adorno
I've not read the Theory of the Novel, and my current favourite thing about Georg Lukacs is the inescapable link to another, more contemporary philosopher. So I can't comment much on the specific context of the following quotation:

'A considerable part of the leading German intelligentsia, including Adorno, have taken up residence in the ‘Grand Hotel Abyss’ which I described in connection with my critique of Schopenhauer as ‘a beautiful hotel, equipped with every comfort, on the edge of an abyss, of nothingness, of absurdity. And the daily contemplation of the abyss between excellent meals or artistic entertainments, can only heighten the enjoyment of the subtle comforts offered.’ (Die Zerstörung der Vernunft, Neuwied 1962, p. 219)'

----Georg Lukács 1962 : Preface to The Theory of the Novel at
Nevertheless, I think there might be something quite keen in his criticism of Adorno, whose philosophy, as compelling and formidable as it is, offers (by Adorno's own standards I think it should be added) very little in the way of 'bridge' over the abyss which is the inherent self-contradictions of capitalism. Rather the activity of Negative Dialectics seems to involve precisely dwelling on these contradictions: that in writing and attending to them we bear witness to a future in which these contradictions are no longer apparent: where the objects we speak of, and particularly the subjects, can exist as ends in themselves rather than as means towards profit.

If anything compels me to return to University for a phD it's the tension between thinkers like Adorno (and Simone Weil) on one side who seem to value contemplation, and perhaps more ACTION-BASED philosophers, like Nietzsche perhaps. Or Gillian Rose.  Something like this anyway.

Last holiday snap tomorrow, hope to see you then.

becca xo
ps. new cartoon here too!