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Document Details :

Title: 'La théorie critique n'a aucun rapport avec la société'
Subtitle: Kluge, Adorno et l'indomptable Leni Peickert
Author(s): CORMANN, Grégory , HAMERS, Jeremy
Journal: Tijdschrift voor Filosofie
Volume: 78    Issue: 1   Date: 2016   
Pages: 97-120
DOI: 10.2143/TVF.78.1.3157076

Abstract :
In Artists Under the Big Top: Perplexed (1968), Alexander Kluge’s second feature film, as well as in its short sequel The Indomitable Leni Peickert (1969), the film-maker reflects about the possibility of creating a 'reformed circus' which aims at reintroducing some sensuality into the spectator’s experience. Taking this project as well as its central figure, the apparently passive elephant, as a metaphorical starting point, this article reconstitutes a virtual dialogue between the filmmaker and his friend and former master Theodor W. Adorno around the issue of communicability and effectiveness of Critical Theory. Crossing several text fragments by the philosopher (Dialectic of Enlightenment, Resignation, Education After Auschwitz, et al.) with film excerpts, short stories and interviews by Kluge, this dialogue made of real exchanges, as well as direct and indirect quotes of Adorno in Kluge’s films — considered here to be belated joint projects — finally tries to give an answer to the following crucial question: how can Adorno’s critical reflection remain politically, that is socially effective?

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