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123

Part III: The 1930s

13
terms
7
notes

Jeffries, S. (2016). Part III: The 1930s. In Jeffries, S. Grand Hotel Abyss: The Lives of the Frankfurt School. Verso, pp. 123-208

(adjective) being less dense / (adjective) of, relating to, or interesting to a select group; esoteric / (adjective) very high / (verb) to make rare, thin, porous, or less dense; to expand without the addition of matter / (verb) to make more spiritual, refined, or abstruse / (verb) to become less dense

130

Monopoly capitalism and the fascist state could not tolerate this autonomous sphere of life that represented a potential threat to the existing order, so they did to rarefied bourgeois culture what they did to the family

—p.130 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

Monopoly capitalism and the fascist state could not tolerate this autonomous sphere of life that represented a potential threat to the existing order, so they did to rarefied bourgeois culture what they did to the family

—p.130 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

(noun) the text of a work (as an opera) for the musical theater / (noun) the book containing a libretto (from Italian)

132

Brecht’s libretto, too, sought to make it clear that the bourgeois world was absurd and anarchic.

—p.132 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

Brecht’s libretto, too, sought to make it clear that the bourgeois world was absurd and anarchic.

—p.132 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago
134

[...] Brecht hoped that there would be an abrasion between the grandeur of the opera house and the harsh message. Instead, it became another culinary treat in the operatic repertory, aberrantly decoded by its audiences and then happily consumed like whiskey. [...]

there's a similar concept in another book I read recently - Zizek maybe? - how even resistance and counterculture becomes co-opted

—p.134 by Stuart Jeffries 2 years, 10 months ago

[...] Brecht hoped that there would be an abrasion between the grandeur of the opera house and the harsh message. Instead, it became another culinary treat in the operatic repertory, aberrantly decoded by its audiences and then happily consumed like whiskey. [...]

there's a similar concept in another book I read recently - Zizek maybe? - how even resistance and counterculture becomes co-opted

—p.134 by Stuart Jeffries 2 years, 10 months ago

political (originally communist) propaganda, especially in art or literature

134

But the philosopher never shared the dramatist’s agitprop hopes.

—p.134 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

But the philosopher never shared the dramatist’s agitprop hopes.

—p.134 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

(noun) the lower middle class including especially small shopkeepers and artisans

135

Adorno and Horkheimer returned the abuse: they regarded Brecht as a petit-bourgeois poseur and apologist for Stalinism

—p.135 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

Adorno and Horkheimer returned the abuse: they regarded Brecht as a petit-bourgeois poseur and apologist for Stalinism

—p.135 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

(adjective) difficult knotty / (adjective) ; rough to the touch; as / (adjective) having small raised dots, scales, or points / (adjective) covered with raised, roughened, or unwholesome patches / (adjective) dealing with suggestive, indecent, or scandalous themes; salacious / (adjective) squalid

135

the Institute for Social Research as it evolved in the 1930s. It was Brechtian in its inverse relationship between scabrous critique and changing that which it critiqued

ouch

—p.135 by Stuart Jeffries
uncertain
2 years, 10 months ago

the Institute for Social Research as it evolved in the 1930s. It was Brechtian in its inverse relationship between scabrous critique and changing that which it critiqued

ouch

—p.135 by Stuart Jeffries
uncertain
2 years, 10 months ago

(adjective) affording a general view of a whole / (adjective) manifesting or characterized by comprehensiveness or breadth of view / (adjective) presenting or taking the same or common view

140

Horkheimer’s vision in his inaugural lecture was that philosophy should open up a synoptic, critical view of human life that empirical research and interdisciplinary work might fill in

—p.140 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

Horkheimer’s vision in his inaugural lecture was that philosophy should open up a synoptic, critical view of human life that empirical research and interdisciplinary work might fill in

—p.140 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

(noun) asp / (noun) a clear savory jelly (as of fish or meat stock) used as a garnish or to make a meat, fish, or vegetable mold

145

the positivists – at least those whom Horkheimer characterised thus – suspended facts in aspic and falsely eternalised the status quo

—p.145 by Stuart Jeffries
confirm
2 years, 10 months ago

the positivists – at least those whom Horkheimer characterised thus – suspended facts in aspic and falsely eternalised the status quo

—p.145 by Stuart Jeffries
confirm
2 years, 10 months ago
152

[...] In two papers on the criminal justice system, he argued that the state presented itself subconsciously as a father and therefore ruled through the fear of paternal punishment; he also contended that it had a class bias and that, by focusing on crime and punishment rather than tackling the oppressive social conditions that led some to commit crime, criminals became the scapegoats for society’s unfairness and economic inequality. The image of the punishing father was now projected into the authority of the state. Fromm even contended that the criminal justice system did not reduce the crime rate; rather, its function was to intensify oppression and crush opposition. These thoughts are echoed in our time by the American activist and professor Angela Davis, a one-time student of Marcuse. [...]

had no idea she was a student of Marcuse. so cool

—p.152 by Stuart Jeffries 2 years, 10 months ago

[...] In two papers on the criminal justice system, he argued that the state presented itself subconsciously as a father and therefore ruled through the fear of paternal punishment; he also contended that it had a class bias and that, by focusing on crime and punishment rather than tackling the oppressive social conditions that led some to commit crime, criminals became the scapegoats for society’s unfairness and economic inequality. The image of the punishing father was now projected into the authority of the state. Fromm even contended that the criminal justice system did not reduce the crime rate; rather, its function was to intensify oppression and crush opposition. These thoughts are echoed in our time by the American activist and professor Angela Davis, a one-time student of Marcuse. [...]

had no idea she was a student of Marcuse. so cool

—p.152 by Stuart Jeffries 2 years, 10 months ago

a recurrent theme throughout a musical or literary composition, associated with a particular person, idea, or situation

162

This leitmotif – sadness in intoxication, catastrophe foreshadowed in the very moment of exultation, death figured in birth pangs – is, for Adorno, utterly German

—p.162 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

This leitmotif – sadness in intoxication, catastrophe foreshadowed in the very moment of exultation, death figured in birth pangs – is, for Adorno, utterly German

—p.162 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago
166

[...] daddy would not bankroll his son to follow a profession that was premised on not making a living. As his biographers put it: ‘His parents pushed for a career with some earning potential and steadfastly refused the kind of support that would enable Benjamin to live independently while continuing to live and write as he wished.’ Their son was temperamentally incapable of pursuing a career with earning potential: he was too astute a reader of Kafka for that. Kafka had bent the knee to his father’s desires and taken a job in an insurance office. The novelist described what that work meant: ‘You have to earn your grave.’ Benjamin was not temperamentally capable of following Kafka’s abasement.

classic Kafka

—p.166 by Stuart Jeffries 2 years, 10 months ago

[...] daddy would not bankroll his son to follow a profession that was premised on not making a living. As his biographers put it: ‘His parents pushed for a career with some earning potential and steadfastly refused the kind of support that would enable Benjamin to live independently while continuing to live and write as he wished.’ Their son was temperamentally incapable of pursuing a career with earning potential: he was too astute a reader of Kafka for that. Kafka had bent the knee to his father’s desires and taken a job in an insurance office. The novelist described what that work meant: ‘You have to earn your grave.’ Benjamin was not temperamentally capable of following Kafka’s abasement.

classic Kafka

—p.166 by Stuart Jeffries 2 years, 10 months ago
167

[...] If the Frankfurt School was the last hurrah of German romanticism, then Benjamin was its emblem, revealing the group in all its contradictions – Marxists without party, socialists dependent on capitalist money, beneficiaries of a society they sniffily disdained and without which they would have had nothing to write about.

—p.167 by Stuart Jeffries 2 years, 10 months ago

[...] If the Frankfurt School was the last hurrah of German romanticism, then Benjamin was its emblem, revealing the group in all its contradictions – Marxists without party, socialists dependent on capitalist money, beneficiaries of a society they sniffily disdained and without which they would have had nothing to write about.

—p.167 by Stuart Jeffries 2 years, 10 months ago

the incessant product and process innovation mechanism by which new production units replace outdated ones; coined by Joseph Schumpeter in 1942 as "the essential fact about capitalism"

170

Benjamin’s writings in the last eight years of his life were examples of Joseph Schumpeter’s notion of creative destruction, reducing history to rubble the better to find a path through its ruins

—p.170 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

Benjamin’s writings in the last eight years of his life were examples of Joseph Schumpeter’s notion of creative destruction, reducing history to rubble the better to find a path through its ruins

—p.170 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

(psychoanalysis) the process of investment of mental or emotional energy in a person, object, or idea

171

to name something as a crime is not just to announce its prohibition, but to confer on that act a libidinal cathexis: transgression is sexy

on suicide

—p.171 by Stuart Jeffries
confirm
2 years, 10 months ago

to name something as a crime is not just to announce its prohibition, but to confer on that act a libidinal cathexis: transgression is sexy

on suicide

—p.171 by Stuart Jeffries
confirm
2 years, 10 months ago
193

For Marcuse fascism was not a break with the past, but a continuation of tendencies within liberalism that supported the capitalist economic system. This was the Frankfurt School orthodoxy – fascism wasn’t an abolition of capitalism, rather a means of ensuring its continued existence. Horkheimer once wrote ‘he who does not wish to speak of capitalism, should also be silent about fascism’. [...]

—p.193 by Stuart Jeffries 2 years, 10 months ago

For Marcuse fascism was not a break with the past, but a continuation of tendencies within liberalism that supported the capitalist economic system. This was the Frankfurt School orthodoxy – fascism wasn’t an abolition of capitalism, rather a means of ensuring its continued existence. Horkheimer once wrote ‘he who does not wish to speak of capitalism, should also be silent about fascism’. [...]

—p.193 by Stuart Jeffries 2 years, 10 months ago

(linguistics) the omission of a sound or syllable when speaking OR the act or an instance of omitting something

193

What has long shocked some readers of the Frankfurt School is the apparent blitheness with which they elided Hitlerian fascism, Stalinist communism and Roosevelt’s America

he implies that when it came to the Nazis, they didn't really care about the capitalism element as much as they cared about their own personal lives being more difficult (as Jewish intellectuals)

—p.193 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

What has long shocked some readers of the Frankfurt School is the apparent blitheness with which they elided Hitlerian fascism, Stalinist communism and Roosevelt’s America

he implies that when it came to the Nazis, they didn't really care about the capitalism element as much as they cared about their own personal lives being more difficult (as Jewish intellectuals)

—p.193 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago
194

[...] Adorno fled first to Oxford where he would spend four years from 1934 to 1938 as an advanced student at Merton College – a demotion from his position as lecturer at Frankfurt. There were worse slights to his self-esteem: at Merton, he was obliged to dine communally. This was ‘like having to return to school’, he wrote, adding, with pardonable exaggeration, ‘in short, an extension of the Third Reich’. [...]

what a guy

—p.194 by Stuart Jeffries 2 years, 10 months ago

[...] Adorno fled first to Oxford where he would spend four years from 1934 to 1938 as an advanced student at Merton College – a demotion from his position as lecturer at Frankfurt. There were worse slights to his self-esteem: at Merton, he was obliged to dine communally. This was ‘like having to return to school’, he wrote, adding, with pardonable exaggeration, ‘in short, an extension of the Third Reich’. [...]

what a guy

—p.194 by Stuart Jeffries 2 years, 10 months ago

(verb) uproot / (verb) to remove or separate from a native environment or culture / (verb) to remove the racial or ethnic characteristics or influences from

195

Deracinated, lonely, struggling to make his philosophy understood in a language that he was just mastering, Adorno took succour

—p.195 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

Deracinated, lonely, struggling to make his philosophy understood in a language that he was just mastering, Adorno took succour

—p.195 by Stuart Jeffries
notable
2 years, 10 months ago

assistance and support in times of hardship and distress

195

Deracinated, lonely, struggling to make his philosophy understood in a language that he was just mastering, Adorno took succour

—p.195 by Stuart Jeffries
confirm
2 years, 10 months ago

Deracinated, lonely, struggling to make his philosophy understood in a language that he was just mastering, Adorno took succour

—p.195 by Stuart Jeffries
confirm
2 years, 10 months ago
206

[...] ‘Once a formula was successful, the industry plugged the same thing over and over again. The result was to make music into a kind of social cement operating through distraction, displaced wish-fulfillment, and the intensification of passivity.’ In this, you might well think, Adorno was prescient: he recognised early the developments that would dominate television, film, commercial theatre, book publishing and the internet in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, how the endless repetition of successful formulas, such as in sequels or online retailer recommendations based on past consumption patterns, keeps us in a kind of Sisyphean hell, buying and consuming minimally different cultural products.

—p.206 by Stuart Jeffries 2 years, 10 months ago

[...] ‘Once a formula was successful, the industry plugged the same thing over and over again. The result was to make music into a kind of social cement operating through distraction, displaced wish-fulfillment, and the intensification of passivity.’ In this, you might well think, Adorno was prescient: he recognised early the developments that would dominate television, film, commercial theatre, book publishing and the internet in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries, how the endless repetition of successful formulas, such as in sequels or online retailer recommendations based on past consumption patterns, keeps us in a kind of Sisyphean hell, buying and consuming minimally different cultural products.

—p.206 by Stuart Jeffries 2 years, 10 months ago