Aspetti della teoria del saggio in Walter Benjamin e Theodor W. Adorno


Theodor W. Adorno’s concept of the essay is strictly interrelated with the problem of knowledge. In Adorno’s and W. Benjamin’s thought the essay is the manifestation of a search for knowledge, which corresponds to the modified conditions of life in the large city (metropolis) of the early 20th century. The essay renders obsolete the traditional criticism, based on the prospective vision of reality and on its trusting in a clara et distincta perceptio. The essay is in Adorno’s view an intuition of the detail rather than a methodically organized process. There are no certainties for the essay: the essay is not linear but chaotic and multidirectional. Its form appears as an analogon of Benjamin’s flâneur, whose ability lies in seeing the figures of destruction behind the signs of progress.


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Heretical gnoseology, Allegory, Perception, Destruction, Memory, Details, Georg Simmel

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