Study Guide

Theodor Adorno - The Resistance

The Resistance

Made up of artists of all sorts, the members of Resistance were creative individuals who specialized in resisting the lures of social domination. They were a pessimistic bunch because they knew that their resistance could not be total. You can't write poetry without using common words; you can't write music without using common notes; and you can't write drama without using common situations.

Early in his adult life, Adorno tended to the development of his notable musical talent, but he gave that up to focus on his theories. He hoped these would prove to have more practical oomph. The Resistance still let him in the club, though; after all, he had given their artistic endeavors some legitimate philosophical backing.

Samuel Beckett came late to the clique, but he proved to be a powerhouse nonetheless, writing literary works as autonomous as literary works can be. Franz Kafka weirded people out with his strange tales of transformation and alienation. The Marxist Bertolt Brecht took the resistance in a didactic direction, much to the displeasure and disappointment of Adorno.

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