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Modernism and Affect$
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Julie Taylor

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780748693252

Published to Edinburgh Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.3366/edinburgh/9780748693252.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM EDINBURGH SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.edinburgh.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Edinburgh University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in ESO for personal use.date: 03 August 2021

From Odysseus to Rotpeter: Adorno and Kafka, Mimicry and Happiness

From Odysseus to Rotpeter: Adorno and Kafka, Mimicry and Happiness

(p.185) Chapter 10 From Odysseus to Rotpeter: Adorno and Kafka, Mimicry and Happiness
Modernism and Affect

Doug Haynes

Edinburgh University Press

Chapter 10 considers an Adornian form of happiness that might be found in the correspondence between the poles of instinct and culture, a happiness that is not a simple return to nature but an appreciation of pre-human animal pleasure that can only be realised from a retrospective lapsarian position of properly socialized reason. This advanced, if indolent happiness is a non-identitarian happiness in alterity that stands in sharp contrast with the forms of modern bourgeois satisfaction anachronistically typified for Adorno and Horkheimer in the figure of Odysseus, who has relinquished primal happiness. The chapter explores the affective intertwinement of nature and reason in Kafka’s “A Report to an Academy” (1917), which demonstrates the absence of an enlightened sociality that might enable the happiness immanent in nature to be redeemed.

Keywords:   Theodor Adorno, Max Horkheimer, Franz Kafka, happiness, mimicry, Odysseus, nature, reason

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