Chapter published in:Key Cultural Texts in Translation
Edited by Kirsten Malmkjær, Adriana Şerban and Fransiska Louwagie
[Benjamins Translation Library 140] 2018
► pp. 235–254
German critical theory in the neoliberal world order
Theodor Wiesengrund Adorno’s oeuvre has been widely translated into English, and despite an uneven reception history in the Anglophone world, he can be regarded as a “fashionable”, perhaps even a “celebrity” philosopher in English translation. Whilst it remains an open question to what extent a high intellectual pedigree can be distilled into cultural capital when refracted through the lens of translation, it appears reasonable to assume that key works of German critical theory in English are refracted through a positivist order of discourse, which is at odds with the ideological, or more precisely utopian, convictions of mainstream critical theorists. This article discusses the translational recontextualisation of Adorno’s concept of the “non-identical” and some of its associated conceptual frames.
Keywords: translation and philosophy, critical theory, capitalism, power asymmetries, ideology, domination, hegemony, non-identitarian thinking, instrumental reason, translation and the market
Published online: 16 May 2018
Adorno, Theodor W.
2005c Minima Moralia: Reflections on Damaged Life, trans. Dennis Redmond. http://www.marxists.org/reference/archive/adorno/1951/mm/index.htm. (Accessed 22.1.2016) (German source text Minima Moralia: Reflexionen aus dem beschädigten Leben published in 1951 by Suhrkamp, Frankfurt.)
Adorno, Theodor W. and Horkheimer, Max
2005 Foreword to English translation of Minima Moralia. Available at: http://members.efn.org/~dredmond/MinimaMoralia.html. [accessed 14 September 2014]