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On the Nature of Marx's ThingsTranslation as Necrophilology$
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Jacques Lezra

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780823279425

Published to Fordham Scholarship Online: September 2018

DOI: 10.5422/fordham/9780823279425.001.0001

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Adorno and the Humanist Dialectic

Adorno and the Humanist Dialectic

(p.157) 5. Adorno and the Humanist Dialectic
On the Nature of Marx's Things

Jacques Lezra

Fordham University Press

This chapter puts in relation what is here referred to as Marx's “dynamic objects” and what Theodor Adorno calls the “dialectical image.” It takes the language of exile—pushed to an extreme philosophical consequence in Adorno's writing—to provide a definitive rearticulation of the notion of “dialectics,” and so too of the way we should understand, today, how objects (conceptual, material) and identities are produced, shaped, valued, and brought into and out of (political, economic) relation. The chapter imagines two ways of approaching the “dialectical image” that is “Adorno,” and hence of sketching out the ways in which the humanist dialectic excludes the specific account of mediation that Adorno, and “Adorno,” provide. Both of them necessarily sit, uneasily, on the mobile border that lies between disciplinary and meta-disciplinary arguments.

Keywords:   dynamic objects, dialectical image, language of exile, Theodor Adorno, dialectics

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