Damaged Life: Poems after Adorno’s Minima Moralia by Christopher Norris
This is an extended sequence of poems and verse-essays about T.W. Adorno, taking a lead from various passages in his most accessible and engaging book Minima Moralia. The poems, like the book, are a complex amalgam of politics (always their ultimate focus) with philosophy, sociology, cultural commentary, aesthetic theory, and – not least – autobiographical reflections. The latter range from Adorno’s fondly nostalgic reminiscences of early childhood to thoughts of how school-playground bullying prefigured Nazi violence and how the experience of US exile in the 1940s evoked those same memories. The poems are examples of ‘creative criticism’, a genre that in this case allows the interaction of Adorno’s hard-pressed negative dialectics with a range of exacting poetic forms, metrical arrangements, and rhyme-schemes. They are ‘formalist’ in the active – properly dialectical – sense of deploying such structural resources to draw out meanings and implications that are latent or unspoken in the source-text. The book is thus on the one hand a tribute to Adorno’s unequalled powers as a social critic and cultural-political theorist and on the other a case for the kind of poetry that engages issues beyond the narrowly personal remit of much contemporary verse.
- Genre: Poetry
- Pages (print): 253
- File size (ebook): 1037 kB
- First edition published: 1 December, 2021
- ISBN (paperback): 978-82-93659-25-9
- ISBN (ebook): 978-82-93659-26-6