The homeland of language : a note on truth and knowledge in Adorno

In Gerhard Richter (ed.), Language without soil: Adorno and late philosophical modernity. New York: Fordham University Press (2010)
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Abstract

This chapter discusses problems as they arise in Minima Moralia, respectively addressing the question of truth and knowledge as a function of the accessibility of language and the question of transparency in relation to the formulation of these problems. One of the most important meditations on reading and transparency in Minima Moralia is found in the section “Memento” [“Hinter den Spiegel”]. This thought-image takes us to the far side of mimetic perception and reflection, behind the mirror, offering what might be a new way of thinking transparency. Once arrived, however, we do not stay there, as indicated by the accusative article den; we are to remain in motion, following the movement of language as it passes through and bears the traces of a complex web of social relations and aesthetic conventions. Here Theodor W. Adorno reflects on illuminating writing not in terms of its clarity, but rather its porous, material nature.

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