Theodore W. Adorno Quotation:
(to 1969 Herbert Marcuse interview about Adorno)
From the web site of Evelyn Wilcock, http://members.aol.com/eandcw/adquotes.htm,
People who ask about Adorno want to know the source of his dictum about writing poetry after Auschwitz. Providing them with the date (written in 1949 for a festschrift) and source (published in "An Essay on Cultural Criticism and Society," in Prisms, p.34) of the quotation may only increase their mystification. The sentence is part of the conclusion to an essay, and reading it on its own may be as fruitless as attempting to understand the last act of Hamlet without having first seen the rest of the play. This is the opening of the essay, 'Cultural Criticism and Society,' the whole of which may be read in Prisms, trans. Samuel and Shierry Weber (Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press, 1967), p.19.
To anyone in the habit of thinking with his ears, the words 'cultural criticism' (Kulturkritik) must have an offensive ring, not merely because, like automobile, they are pieced together from Latin and Greek. The words recall a flagrant contradiction. The cultural critic is not happy with civilization, to which alone he owes his discontent. He speaks as if he represents unadulterated nature or a higher historical stage. Yet he is necessarily of the same essence as that to which he fancies himself superior.
source: <http://lists.ccil.org/pipermail/philnet/2002-June/002663.html>, accessed July 28, 2003
On June 24, 2002 Frederik van Gelder of the Frankfurt Institute for Social Research (where Adorno worked), answered a query on Philnet as follows:
> I wonder if anyone
can tell me the precise location of Adorno's
Original quote in *Prisms*, 1955, MIT Press. Reprinted London, 1967.
It's a misquote, in as much as it's a phrase inside of a sentence which
is usually left out:
Adorno came back to this topic on three different occasions: in the Negative Dialectics, in Ohne Leitbild, and in Noten zur Literatur IV.
Page references are to the Gesammelte Schriften, where more
details can be found:
Negative Dialektik, 06, p. 355/356:
Ohne Leitbild, 10a, p. 452/453:
Noten zur Literatur IV, vol.11, p. 603