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Isabelle Klasen & Jacob Blumenfeld

In: The SAGE Handbook of Frankfurt School Critical Theory

Chapter 61: Rather No Art than Socialist Realism: Adorno, Beckett, and Brecht

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Rather No Art than Socialist Realism: Adorno, Beckett, and Brecht
Rather No Art than Socialist Realism: Adorno, Beckett, and Brecht
Isabelle Klasen Jacob Blumenfeld

After Samuel Beckett told Adorno in a conversation in 1967 that Bertolt Brecht had planned on writing an ‘Anti-Godot’, Adorno jotted down in his notebook, ‘My God, what a piece of crap that would have been’ (Tiedemann, 1994: 24). This note is not just a disrespectful remark, but points toward a substantive problem that constantly occupied Adorno and fundamentally determined his relationship to Beckett and Brecht: how can art, in a late capitalist world and after the failure of revolutionary hopes, still exist as a site for social truth? After 1945, writes Rolf Tiedemann, art ...

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