Inspirational Theodor Adorno Quotes

Theodor W. Adorno (September 11, 1903 – August 6, 1969) was a German philosopher, sociologist, and composer. This post features some Inspirational Theodor Adorno Quotes.

Theodor Adorno is known for his critical theory of society. He was a leading member of the Frankfurt School of critical theory, whose work has come to be associated with thinkers such as Ernst Bloch, Walter Benjamin, Max Horkheimer and Herbert Marcuse, for whom the work of Freud, Marx, and Hegel were essential to a critique of modern society.

He is widely regarded as one of the 20th century’s foremost thinkers on aesthetics and philosophy, as well as one of its preeminent essayists. As a critic of both fascism and what he called the culture industry, his writings—such as Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Minima Moralia (1951) and Negative Dialectics (1966)—strongly influenced the European New Left.

Theodor Adorno Quotes
Theodor Adorno Quotes

Theodor Adorno Quotes

“Art is magic delivered from the lie of being truth.”
― Theodor Adorno

“Auschwitz begins wherever someone looks at a slaughterhouse and thinks: they’re only animals.”
― Theodor Adorno

“Every work of art is an uncommitted crime.”
― Theodor Adorno

“To those who no longer have a homeland, writing becomes home.”
Theodor Adorno quotes

“Intolerance of ambiguity is the mark of an authoritarian personality.”
― Theodor Adorno

“Love is the power to see similarity in the dissimilar.”
― Theodor Adorno

“The splinter in your eye is the best magnifying-glass available.”
― Theodor Adorno

“People know what they want because they know what other people want.”
― Theodor Adorno

“There is no love that is not an echo.”
― Theodor Adorno

“Love you will find only where you may show yourself weak without provoking strength.”
― Theodor Adorno

“Wrong life cannot be lived rightly.”
― Theodor Adorno

“There is no right life in the wrong one.”
― Theodor Adorno

“Freedom would be not to choose between black and white but to abjure such prescribed choices.”
― Theodor Adorno

“Dissonance is the truth about harmony.”
― Theodor Adorno

“The darkening of the world makes the irrationality of art rational: radically darkened art.”
― Theodor Adorno

“True thoughts are those alone which do not understand themselves.”
― Theodor Adorno

“Talent is perhaps nothing other than successfully sublimated rage.”
― Theodor Adorno

“For a man who no longer has a homeland, writing becomes a place to live.”
― Theodor Adorno

“Art is the social antithesis of society, not directly deducible from it.”
― Theodor Adorno

“Triviality is evil – triviality, that is, in the form of consciousness and mind that adapts itself to the world as it is, that obeys the principle of inertia. And this principle of inertia truly is what is radically evil.”
― Theodor Adorno

“Horror is beyond the reach of psychology.”
― Theodor Adorno

“The forms of art reflect the history of man more truthfully than do documents themselves.”
― Theodor Adorno

“Only thought which does violence to itself is hard enough to shatter myth.”
― Theodor Adorno

“The task of art today is to bring chaos into order.”
― Theodor Adorno

“Pleasure always means not to think about anything, to forget suffering even where it is shown. Basically it is helplessness. It is flight; not, as is asserted, flight from a wretched reality, but from the last remaining thought of resistance.”
― Theodor Adorno

“Freud made the discovery- quite genuinely, simply through working on his own material- that the more deeply one explores the phenomena of human individuation, the more unreservedly one grasps the individual as a self-contained and dynamic entity, the closer one draws to that in the individual which is really no longer individual.”
― Theodor Adorno

“It would be advisable to think of progress in the crudest, most basic terms: that no one should go hungry anymore, that there should be no more torture, no more Auschwitz. Only then will the idea of progress be free from lies.”
― Theodor Adorno

“He who stands aloof runs the risk of believing himself better than others and misusing his critique of society as an ideology for his private interest. While he gropingly forms his own life in the frail image of a true existence, he should never forget its frailty, nor how little the image is a substitute for true life. Against such
awareness, however, pulls the momentum of the bourgeois within him.”
― Theodor Adorno

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