The first detailed analysis in English of Theodor Adorno's seminal Philosophy of Modern Music, which can be seen as a turning point between modern and postmodern art and theory
David Roberts, Reader in German at Monash University in Melbourne, Australia, is coeditor of the journal Thesis Eleven. He is the author of The Indirections of Desire: Hamlet in Goethe's "Wilhelm Meister" (1980) and other books.
Theodor Adorno's Philosophy of Modern Music was a key work in the attempt to bring aesthetic theory to modern art. Using Adorno's text as a centerpiece for critical analysis, Roberts places 20th-century aesthetic debates within a framework ranging backwards in time to Hegel and forward to the present postmodern period. Roberts has done a superb job here, and this book should win a solid place in the philosophy of art. The reader should be warned, however, that it is not easy going: Roberts assumes a fairly deep knowledge on the part of those approaching his book. But for those properly prepared, the effort will be well rewarded. Recommended for specialists in the field and for graduate programs in the philosophy of art.-- Terry Skeats, Bishop's Univ., Lennoxville, Quebec
"A very stimulating, educative asset for all scholars of German art history, philosophy, music, and literature who are interested in the postmodern paradigm shift." German Studies Review "An extremely timely and original assessment of the current state of aesthetic theory, or, more precisely, aesthetic practice as reflected in that theory. Using Adorno's analysis of modern music as his starting point, Roberts constructs a model of twentieth-century artistic developments and their theoretical implications that draws on and criticizes a wide variety of important contemporary thinkers. The subject touches on many of the central issues now surrounding the heated international debate over postmodernism." Martin Jay, author of Adorno