The Wor(l)d of the Animal: Adorno on Art’s Expression of Suffering
2011 (English)In: Journal of Aesthetics and Culture, ISSN 2000-4214, no 3, -12 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Although Adorno takes modern, autonomous art as the starting point for his aesthetics, this does not mean that his idea of art’s truth content is restricted to the artworks of modernity. In the article, I wish to show that Adorno’s discussion of art’s truth content is intimately connected with its capacity to express the suffering that nature has undergone and still undergoes in the name of enlightenment. I focus on art’s expression of the suffering of nonhuman nature, and particularly non-human animals. I examine the interpretation Adorno makes in Dialectic of Enlightenment of an episode from The Odyssey, to show that even an artwork before the modern conception of art can be said to have truth content. Few commentators have considered this, and those who have, have not recognized Adorno’s conviction that what is significant in authentic artworks is their ability to give voice not only to repressed human nature but also to repressed non-human nature. Giving voice to suffering nature and animals is something that unites The Odyssey with subsequent artworks, such as Mahler’s Third Symphony.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Järfälla: CoAction Publishing, 2011. no 3, -12 p.
domination of nature, natural beauty, The Odyssey, non-human animals, Mahler
Research subject Aesthetics
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-163627DOI: 10.3402/jac.v3i0.7987OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-163627DiVA: diva2:464525