Reading Adorno and Walter Benjamin though Don Quixote and the Schlemiel – New Publication

Menachem Feuer – the author of Schlemiel Theory (www.schlemielintheory.com) – just published a new essay entitled: “Discovering the Truth of Sancho Panza: The Meaning of Comedy in Adorno and Benjamin’s Divergent Readings of Don Quixote.”  It is a part of a volume for Routledge’s Studies in Twentieth-Century Philosophy entitled Benjamin, Adorno, and the Experience of […]

Gentle Irresistibility: Adorno on the Promises of Happiness and Truth in Walter Benjamin’s Work

Religion and philosophy are both interested in some form of ultimate good that results in happiness. Aristotle is often noted for saying that all human beings desire to be happy. Much of what we do is for the sake of happiness. For Aristotle, the desire for happiness is built into human nature and is achievable. […]

Adorno’s Whispers in the Dark: The Holocaust, The Child, and the Schlemiel

As a third generation American – and as a person three times removed from the Holocaust – I was always curious about the meaning of the Holocaust. It happened, as the author David Grossman writes in his novel See: Under Love, “over there.”   What I find so intriguing about Grossman’s novel, which begins with the […]

Who is Laughing? On “Laughtivism” and its Opponents

When Walter Benjamin wrote Gershom Scholem from Paris, on June 12, 1938 about Kafka, humor, and salvation, Adolf Hitler had already established his first work camp (1933), organized an anti-Jewish boycott (1933), burned “un-German” books (1933), passed the Nuremberg Race Laws (1935), sponsored an anti-Semitic art exhibition in Munich (1937), and annexed Austria (1938).   And […]