Klett-Cotta-Verlag Psychology

»... in der Aporie gefangen«

Zu Adorno und Schönbergs A Survivor from Warsaw

Juli 2019, 23. Jahrgang, Heft 91, pp 51-68

»… trapped in the aporia« – On Adorno and Schönberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw
Despite his statement about poems after Auschwitz, Adorno’s comments on Schönberg’s A Survivor from Warsaw are largely positive. This is surprising at first, but is based on a convergence of Adorno’s words and Schönberg’s work. Thus, the characterization of poetry after Auschwitz as »impossible« or »barbaric« can be related to the contrast of the two parts in the ­Survivor – expressive narrative in the first, the constructive choral setting of ›Shma Yisrael‹ in the second. The first part threatens to become impossible as art through the expression of suffering; the second, by contrast, tries to withstand this in art, but transfigures suffering and therefore threatens to become barbaric. Thus the survivor is »trapped in the aporia«. But by resisting the aporia and calling to resistance through memory, he sets out to leave behind »self-sufficient contemplation«.

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