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Exact Imagination, Late Work: On Adornos Aesthetics Shierry Weber Nicholsen

Exact Imagination, Late Work: On Adornos Aesthetics

Shierry Weber Nicholsen

Published August 22nd 1997
ISBN : 9780262140621
Hardcover
270 pages
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 About the Book 

Nicholsens Exact Imagination, Late Work is the distilled, reflected product of countless hours alongside, and deeply within, Adornos languages. Her brilliant achievement here is to have demonstrated the emphatic intimacy between AdornosMoreNicholsens Exact Imagination, Late Work is the distilled, reflected product of countless hours alongside, and deeply within, Adornos languages. Her brilliant achievement here is to have demonstrated the emphatic intimacy between Adornos aesthetics and his compositions.-- Tom Huhn, College of Letters and Philosophy Department, Wesleyan University Most English-language writing on Theodor Adorno has attempted to place him in various contexts and to differentiate him from other thinkers. Such work, while important, marks our failure to appropriate Adornos ideas imaginatively. In Exact Imagination, Late Work, Nicholsen proposes such an appropriation through a focus on the centrality of the aesthetic dimension in Adorno. Adorno uses the term exact imagination to mark the conjunction of knowledge, subjective experience, and aesthetic form. Exact imagination, as distinct from creative imagination, thus describes a form of nondiscursive rationality. According to Adorno, exact imagination discovers or produces truth by reconfiguring the material at hand- thus, knowledge is inseparable from the configurational form imagination gives it. Late work is characterized by the disjunction of subjectivity and objectivity. In its attempt to grasp late phenomena, Adornos oeuvre itself takes on the form of late work.Exact imagination and late work mark the bounds of Nicholsens exploration. The five interlocked essays, based on material from Adornos aesthetic writings, take up such issues as subjective aesthetic experience, the historicity of artworks and our experience of them, Adornos conception of language, the nature of configurationalor constellational form in Adornos work, and the relation between the artwork, aesthetic experience, and philosophy. A subtext is the unraveling of Adornos use of the ideas of his colleague Walter Benjamin. Nicholsens essays themselves can be perceived as a constellation of their own around the central issue of the inseparability of form in its aesthetic dimension and nondiscursive rationality.