THEODOR W. ADORNO QUOTES

German sociologist & philosopher (1903-1969)

There can be no poetry after Auschwitz.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Gesammelte Schriften: Kulturkritik und Gesellschaft

7 likes

Tags: poetry


Even the loveliest dream bears like a blemish its difference from reality, the awareness that what it grants is mere illusion.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Minima Moralia

5 likes

Tags: dreams, reality


Only thought which does violence to itself is hard enough to shatter myth.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Dialectic of Enlightenment

5 likes

Tags: thought, mythology


The culture industry perpetually cheats its consumers of what it perpetually promises. The promissory note which, with its plots and staging, it draws on pleasure is endlessly prolonged; the promise, which is actually all the spectacle consists of, is illusory: all it actually confirms is that the real point will never be reached, that the diner must be satisfied with the menu.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Dialectic of Enlightenment

5 likes

Tags: pleasure


Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Minima Moralia

5 likes

Tags: art, magic


The splinter in your eye is the best magnifying-glass available.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Minima Moralia

5 likes

Tags: sight


People know what they want because they know what other people want.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Minima Moralia

4 likes

Tags: desire


It is not the office of art to spotlight alternatives, but to resist by its form alone the course of the world, which permanently puts a pistol to men's heads.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, "Engagement"

4 likes

Tags: art


Talent is perhaps nothing other than successfully sublimated rage.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Minima Moralia

4 likes

Tags: talent


To those who no longer have a homeland, writing becomes home.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Minima Moralia

4 likes

Tags: writing, home


The creed of evil has been, since the beginnings of highly industrialized society, not only a precursor of barbarism but a mask of good. The worth of the latter was transferred to the evil that drew to itself all the hatred and resentment of an order which drummed good into its adherents so that it could with impunity be evil.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Minima Moralia

3 likes

Tags: evil


The work of art still has something in common with enchantment: it posits its own, self-enclosed area, which is withdrawn from the context of profane existence, and in which special laws apply.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Dialectic of Enlightenment

3 likes

Tags: art


As naturally as the ruled always took the morality imposed upon them more seriously than did the rulers themselves, the deceived masses are today captivated by the myth of success even more than the successful are. Immovably, they insist on the very ideology which enslaves them. The misplaced love of the common people for the wrong which is done to them is a greater force than the cunning of the authorities.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Dialectic of Enlightenment

3 likes

Tags: success


Art respects the masses, by standing up to them for what they could be, rather than conforming to them in their degraded state.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Aesthetic Theory

3 likes

Tags: art


In the end, the writer is not even allowed to live in his writing.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Minima Moralia

3 likes

Tags: writing


Whoever is versed in the jargon does not have to say what he thinks, does not even have to think it properly. The jargon takes over this task.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Jargon of Authenticity

3 likes

Tags: words


Every work of art is an uncommitted crime.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Minima Moralia

2 likes

Tags: art, crime


Wrong life cannot be lived rightly.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Minima Moralia

2 likes

Tags: life


A thinking that approaches it objects openly, rigorously ... is also free toward its objects in the sense that it refuses to have rules prescribed to it by organized knowledge. It ... rends the veil with which society conceals them, and perceives them anew.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Why Still Philosophy?

2 likes

Tags: thinking, thought


Love is the power to see similarity in the dissimilar.

THEODOR W. ADORNO, Minima Moralia

2 likes

Tags: love