Ideology, Humanness, and Value. On Adorno’s Stravinsky
Keywords:Theodor W. Adorno, Igor Stravinsky, Helmuth Plessner, philosophical anthropology, musical value
Theodor W. Adorno’s critique of Igor Stravinsky has itself been repeatedly criticised. Following the same line, the present article takes as its point of departure the philosophical anthropology of Helmuth Plessner, which challenges the premises of Marxist anthropology, on which Adorno based his critique of Stravinsky. Far from regressing to the inhuman and primitive, Stravinsky’s music affirms, in historically adequate modern terms, the constitutive reflectivity of the human embodied condition, thus becoming more “human”, i.e. meaningful and expressive, than Adorno could have even conceived. Additionally, an account is provided of some groundbreaking musical qualities that underpin the artistic value of Stravinsky’s music, which Adorno also contested.
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