Aesthetic Theory by Theodor W. Adorno
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Translated, edited, & intro. by Robert Hullot-Kentor.
Ed. by Gretel Adorno & Rolf Tiedmann.
Adorno's life work on aesthetic theory culminates in this conclusive publication, "Aesthetic Theory," that nonetheless refuses to withdraw its position as paradox between Adorno's defenses of modernism and illusion, respectably. Theories at the heart of any interpretive act––the sublime, truth/beauty, the relationship between the visual arts and language––are scaffolding for Adorno to grapple with the human experience in the context of aesthetic theory, its meaning and its history. His work is a conceptual, formal, and socio-political critique of the meaning inherent to our encounters with art, with the terms of that encounter and our reflections after perceiving it, if (as he posits) "art is the sedimented history of human misery."