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Aesthetics and Politics

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An intense and lively debate on literature and art between thinkers who became some of the great figures of twentieth-century philosophy and literature

No other country and no other period has produced a tradition of major aesthetic debate to compare with that which unfolded in German culture from the 1930s to the 1950s. In Aesthetics and Politics the key texts of the great Marxist controversies over literature and art during these years are assembled in a single volume. They do not form a disparate collection but a continuous, interlinked debate between thinkers who have become giants of twentieth-century intellectual history.

Theodor Adorno was director of the Institute for Social Research at the University of Frankfurt from 1959 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.

Authors: Benjamin Walter, Adorno Theodor, Lukacs Georg, Brecht Bertolt
Publisher: VERSO
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781788738583
Cover: Paperback
Edition Number: 1
Release Year: 2020

Walter Benjamin (1892–1940) was a German-Jewish Marxist literary critic, essayist, translator and philosopher. He was associated with the Frankfurt School of critical theory and is the author of Illuminations, The Arcades Project, and The Origin of German Tragic Drama. In 1940, he was in Spain, fleeing the Nazis and en route to the United States, when Franco’s government cancelled his visa. Expecting repatriation, he took his own life.

Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969), a prominent member of the Frankfurt School, was one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century in the areas of social theory, philosophy and aesthetics.

Georg Lukács (1885-1971) was a Hungarian Marxist philosopher and literary critic. Most scholars consider him to be the founder of the tradition of Western Marxism. He contributed the ideas of reification and class consciousness to Marxist philosophy and theory, and his literary criticism was influential in thinking about realism and about the novel as a literary genre. He served briefly as Hungary's Minister of Culture following the 1956 Hungarian Revolution.

Bertolt Brecht (1898–1956) was a German poet, playwright and theatre director. One of his country’s most famous writers, he was forced into exile in 1933, returning from the United States to Switzerland in 1947, and to East Berlin in 1949. Some of his most famous plays are The Threepenny Opera, Mother Courage, Life of Galileo and The Caucasian Chalk Circle.

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