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>Verso Books’ volume of Theodor Adorno’s Minima Moralia has become a life companion of mine. Adorno keeps a cultural/political journal of problematic moments for academically-inclined people. Moments of liberal guilt and priveleged shame are catalogued, as are answers to the criticisms that snobs (like myself) level at other people. Adorno’s piece of serious academia is as relatable as a human interest story because of the communal sense, when reading the book, that our neuroses are shared with him. Afterall, this is Theodor Adorno, a man whom we have come to respect over four years as college students, so if he’s okay being neurotic, so am I. Academia can be so impersonal, often its advantage over fiction. But it can also be a cold, mean world if we have no one to share our daily grievances with. Rather than argue and debate to a dehibilitating degree to mentally ventilate everytime we have a complaint (if only there were enough hours in the day!), opening Minima Moralia is a bit of therapy without anesthesia. His book is not soothing in the Oprah sense, it is soothing as a reminder that education creates problems that we all share, but its still worth it to learn. If Adorno and I can be weak together, I feel better about my moments of vulnerability, and my moments of strength.

Written by alexgfrank

January 5, 2009 at 6:24 pm