• Terry Atkinson

    IMMA - Irish Museum of Modern Art

    “‘No poetry after Auschwitz and Hiroshima,’ Adorno is reputed to have written! Who is he trying to kid? The statement itself is poetic.” So writes Terry Atkinson in a short essay justifying his continued interest in historical and political representation and Modernism. But Atkinson’s sense of the quote is slightly askew. Theodor Adorno did not mean that poetry could not or should not exist but that poetry could no longer be thought of as a humanizing force. As far as Adorno is concerned, the concept of civilization embodied in the Enlightenment ideal of Reason ended definitively one day in

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