Minima Moralia: Reflections from Damaged Life

by Theodor Adorno

Paperback, 2020


A reflection on everyday existence in the 'sphere of consumption of late Capitalism', this work is Adorno's literary and philosophical masterpiece.



Call number



Verso (2020), 272 pages

User reviews

LibraryThing member dslsca
This book (perhaps along with the essays in Prisms) is Adorno's most accessible work. It is written in the maxim/eprigram style usually associated with Nietzsche (and thus Adorno's academic employers found it unsufficiently scholarly). Adorno's ideas about the intellectual and cultural poverty of
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contemporary life seem right on target to me. At the end of the book--after page upon page upon page of indictments of the vacuousness of our world today--Adorno concludes by stating that the only possible way of meaningfully existing in this world is to view it from the standpoint of how it would be if it were all redeemed. This unusually optimistic ending is probably more true to the real spirit of Adorno's thought than the bleak, condemnatory ideas (which he certainly expresses at length) stereotypically associated with his philosophy. I initially read the book at a very difficult time in my life and--despite its unflinching look at the horrors and blankness of the world--found it quite comforting.
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LibraryThing member HadriantheBlind
A languorous howl of despair and anger - but who would not feel these things in the ashes of Germany 1945?

I was surprised by how fierce Adorno can be - I've heard horror stories of his impenetrable style. Here, I was surprised, both at the crispness of his style, and the depth of his cultural
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references. If anyone wants to start with him, here's a place to do so. His barbed aphorisms will remain with you, vicious and snarling, a rabid dog tearing into your leg.

This book offers a damning critique of all of society, from fascism to door handles - although, at times it feels like the ramblings of a grumpy old man, who offers not even the hint of a solution, and despairs that all is lost. The theory and practice of despair. Not for everyone.
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LibraryThing member puglibrarian
I'm not going to say I understood all of this, because I didn't, but if that Philosophy 101 class I took freshman year started with this instead of this instead of some stuff about whether or not deities exist, I might not have dropped it. This book is weirdly delightful and beautifully written.
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It's not positive, fluffy, transcend everything kind of philosophy writing AT ALL, but when tearing apart the negative sides of, well, everything, you really get to see the good stuff out there. There's some kind of relief after all the negativity.

That's my takeaway from this book. Don't float above everything like some enlightened master. Get down in it. Punch it in the face. Stare into the abyss. Tear the shoulds and falseness off of modern culture, then roll around in the rest. Just me?
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LibraryThing member eenee
This book read more as a list of densely rendered pessimistic thoughts by a very cynical person than anything else. Clearly, Theodor was not a happy camper living in exile after WWII.


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1788738535 / 9781788738538
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