By William S. Allen
Maurice Blanchot and Theodor W. Adorno are one of the so much tricky but in addition the main profound thinkers in twentieth-century aesthetics. whereas their equipment and views vary extensively, they proportion a priority with the negativity of the paintings conceived when it comes to both its event and danger or its severe expression. Such negativity is neither nihilistic nor pessimistic yet issues the prestige of the paintings and its autonomy in terms of its context or its event. For either Blanchot and Adorno, negativity is the foremost to realizing the prestige of the paintings in post-Kantian aesthetics, and even though it shows how artwork expresses severe probabilities, albeit negatively, it additionally exhibits that paintings bears an irreducible ambiguity such that its which means can continuously negate itself. This ambiguity takes on an extra fabric value while thought of on the subject of language, because the negativity of the paintings turns into aesthetic within the extra experience of being either brilliant and experimental. yet in doing so the language of the literary paintings turns into a kind of considering that permits materiality to be inspiration in its ambiguity.
In a sequence of wealthy and compelling readings, William S. Allen indicates how an unique and rigorous mode of considering arises inside Blanchot's early writings and the way Adorno's aesthetics relies on a relation among language and materiality that has been broadly neglected. moreover, via reconsidering the matter of the self reliant murals when it comes to literature, a significant factor in modernist aesthetics is given a better severe and fabric relevance as a style of considering that's summary and urban, rigorous and ambiguous. whereas examples of this type of writing are available within the works of Blanchot and Beckett, the calls for that such texts position on readers merely ensure the demanding situations and the probabilities that literary autonomy poses to thought.
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Extra resources for Aesthetics of Negativity: Blanchot, Adorno, and Autonomy
Fortuitously, the fetishcharacter of the commodity-form provides a concrete instance of how this negativity and alienation operate and thus indicates how the critique of language can be put into play. ’ Language can only begin with this void; no fullness, no certainty can speak; for whoever expresses himself something essential is lacking” [PF: 314/324; PG: 153/117]. 18 Although Blanchot, like Adorno, would find this redevelopment of critique only in the most subtle negotiations of negativity—that is, in artworks, by virtue of their material deployment of linguisticality, which is what occurs in abstraction.
What Thomas has found by the end of the chapter is that corrosive power of radical negativity in which meaning undoes itself but does not leave sheer meaninglessness, as its negativity persists in turning itself over in an endless vicissitude of words without things becoming things without name. This ambiguous transformation in which Introduction: Abstract and Concrete Modernity ■ 21 we do not know if we are confronting words or things in the materiality of language is the basis of the relation between the concrete and the abstract, the literal and the metaphorical, the sensible and the supersensible, which is underway not just in our relation to objects, insofar as they are always able to become commodities, but also in our relation to language through reading and writing, as this work will explore.
If one could only make people grasp that with language it is as with mathematical formulae—they constitute a world for Autonomous Literature: The Manifesto and the Novel ■ 35 themselves— they only play with themselves, express nothing but their wonderful nature, and this is why they are so expressive—why moreover the unusual play of the relations of things reflects itself in them. Only through their freedom are they members of nature and only in their free movements does the world-soul express itself and make them into a delicate measure and outline of things.
Aesthetics of Negativity: Blanchot, Adorno, and Autonomy by William S. Allen