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Theodor W. Adorno

Correspondence 1929-1964

Edited by Claudia Maurer Zenck
(German title: Briefe und Briefwechsel)
ca. 484 pages
Clothbound
2020
Theodor W. Adorno
Foto: Theodor W. Adorno

Theodor W. Adorno was born on September 11, 1903 in Frankfurt am Main and died on August 6, 1969 from the consequences of a heart attack while on vacation in Visp/Valais. From 1921 to 1923 he studied Philosophy, Sociology and Musicology in Frankfurt and obtained his doctorate in 1924 with a thesis on »Transcendence of the Material and Noematic in Husserl’s Phenomenology«. He became friends with Siegfried Kracauer in his school days and later with Max Horkheimer and Walter Benjamin during their years at university. Alongside them, Adorno is one of the most important representatives of the »Frankfurt School«, which emerged from the Institute for Social Research at the Goethe University Frankfurt. The collected works of Theodor W. Adorno are published by Suhrkamp Verlag and have been translated into more than 40 languages.

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About

In June 1923, Symphony No. 2 by composer Ernst Krenek – only twenty-two years of age at the time – was first performed as part of the Allgemeiner Deutscher Musikverein’s Musicians Festival in Kassel. In the audience sat a 19-year-old philosopher who had just started writing his dissertation, showed great interest in music and who experienced this performance as a shock: Theodor W. Adorno.

One year later, the two men met in person in Frankfurt and soon thereafter began a correspondence that spans over the course of more than three decades. In it, they discuss compositional and music-theoretical questions as well as philosophical, sociological and political issues. They also talk about private matters.

This correspondence has now been published in a completely revised edition that reflects the current state of research. It contains many more letters and documents than the first edition from 1974 and has been supplemented by all the texts by Adorno and Krenek that refer to one another. Thus, it provides the most comprehensive insight to date into a relationship that is of exceeding importance to the theory and history of New Music in the 20th century.

Praise

»an intellectual pleasure« Wolfgang Hellmich, Neue Zürcher Zeitung

»the most interesting correspondence from Adorno’s musical universe to date.« Wolfgang Matz, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung

»Claudia Maurer Zenck has extensively (and with many helpful annotations) and exemplarily re-edited a correspondence that constitutes a collection of source material that is both colourful and offers many new perspectives on the physiognomy of the writers as well as the development of important music in the 20th century.« Jens Malte Fischer, Süddeutsche Zeitung

Other publications

Aspekte des neuen Rechtsradikalismus/Aspects of Contemporary Right-Wing Radicalism (2019)

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»Der liebe Gott wohnt im Detail« Briefwechsel 1939-1969/»The good Lord lives in the details« (2015)

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Briefe und Briefwechsel/Correspondence 1923-1966 (2008)

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Traumprotokolle/Dream Protocols (2005)

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Zu einer Theorie der musikalischen Reproduktion/Towards a Theory of Musical Reproduction (2005)

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Beethoven. Philosophie der Musik/Beethoven (2004)

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Gesammelte Schriften in 20 Bänden/Collected Writings in 20 Volumes (1997)

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Nachgelassene Schriften. Abteilung I: Fragment gebliebene Schriften/Posthumous Writings (1994)

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Philosophie der neuen Musik/Philosophy of Modern Music (1987)

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Philosophische Terminologie/Philosophical Terminology (1974)

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Ästhetische Theorie/Aesthetic Theory (1973)

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Philosophische Terminologie/Philosophical Terminology (1973)

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Gesammelte Schriften in 20 Bänden/Hegel (1963)

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Die musikalischen Monographien/Mahler (1960)

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Minima Moralia/Minima Moralia (1951)

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