Heine and Critical Theory (Hardback)
  • Heine and Critical Theory (Hardback)
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Heine and Critical Theory (Hardback)

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£85.00
Hardback 328 Pages / Published: 21/02/2019
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Heinrich Heine's role in the formation of Critical Theory has been systematically overlooked in the course of the successful appropriation of his thought by Marx, Nietzsche, Freud, and the legacy they left, in particular for Adorno, Benjamin and the Frankfurt School. This book examines the critical connections that led Adorno to call for a "reappraisal" of Heine in a 1948 essay that, published posthumously, remains under-examined. Tracing Heine's Jewish difference and its liberating comedy of irreverence in the thought of the Frankfurt School, the book situates the project of Critical Theory in the tradition of a praxis of critique, which Heine elevates to the art of public controversy. Heine's bold linking of aesthetics and political concerns anticipates the critical paradigm assumed by Benjamin and Adorno. Reading Critical Theory with Heine recovers a forgotten voice that has theoretically critical significance for the formation of the Frankfurt School. With Heine, the project of Critical Theory can be understood as the sustained effort to advance the emancipation of the affects and the senses, at the heart of a theoretical vision that recognizes pleasure as the liberating force in the fight for freedom.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781350087293
Number of pages: 328
Weight: 630 g
Dimensions: 234 x 156 mm


MEDIA REVIEWS
This work of deep scholarship and careful analysis shows incontrovertibly that Heine was not only one of the preeminent German-language poets of modern times, but also a social theorist of great insight whose influence on such varied thinkers as Freud, Marx and Nietzsche was profound and lasting. In particular, Willi Goetschel shows in detail how Heine's account of Jewish 'difference' as paradigmatic of the experience of modernity was the basic template for the Frankfurt School's theoretical approach. Scholars of the Frankfurt School will be surprised by the wealth of new perspectives that Goetschel opens up, but this dazzlingly clear treatment will also appeal to those with no special scholarly expertise in this area. -- Raymond Geuss, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, University of Cambridge, UK
This detailed study demonstrates the continuity of a German-Jewish tradition from Heine to Adorno and other members of the Frankurt School. At stake is the formulation of Jewish identity against the backdrop of a critical understanding of modernity. Goetschel makes a compelling argument for the urgency of the poet Heine and the emancipatory substance of literature. -- Russell A. Berman, Walter A. Haas Professor in the Humanities, Stanford University, USA
Willi Goetschel, with admirable erudition, demonstrates the central role of Heine's work in determining the theoretical and political perspectives of the Frankfurt School. He argues very persuasively that Heine's position as an "unsuccessful" convert to Christianity who was never regarded by others as anything other than the Jew he in fact truly became only at the moment of his conversion, allowed him to articulate a critique of Enlightenment universalism that Adorno and Horkheimer attempted to deepen in The Dialectic of Enlightenment. For Goetschel, however, Heine's critique of the dominant forms of universalism surpasses theirs by emphasizing the perpetually renewed need for a violent reduction of the different to the same that characterizes these forms in their diversity. Goetschel has made an invaluable contribution to our understanding of Heine's importance for the history of critical theory and for addressing the most difficult issues of our own time. -- Warren Montag, Brown Family Professor in Literature, Occidental College, USA

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