The role of art in Marcuse’s work has often been neglected, misinterpreted or underplayed. His critics accused him of a religion of art and aesthetics that leads to an escape from politics and society. Yet, as this volume demonstrates, Marcuse analyzes culture and art in the context of how it produces forces of domination and resistance in society, and his writings on culture and art generate the possibility of liberation and radical social transformation.
The material in this volume is a rich collection of many of Marcuse’s published and unpublished writings, interviews and talks, including ‘Lyric Poetry after Auschwitz’, reflections on Proust, and Letters on Surrealism; a poem by Samuel Beckett for Marcuse’s eightieth birthday with exchange of letters; and many articles that explore the role of art in society and how it provides possibilities for liberation.
This volume will be of interest to those new to Marcuse, generally acknowledged as a major figure in the intellectual and social milieus of the 1960s and 1970s, as well as to the specialist, giving access to a wealth of material from the Marcuse Archive in Frankfurt and his private collection in San Diego, some of it published here in English for the first time.
A comprehensive introduction by Douglas Kellner reflects on the genesis, development, and tensions within Marcuse’s aesthetic, while an afterword by Gerhard Schweppenhäuser summarizes their relevance for the contemporary era.
1. Introduction to The German Artist Novel 2. 'The Affirmative Character of Culture' 3. 'Art in the One-Dimensional Society' 4. 'Society as a Work of Art' 5. 'Commencement Speech for the New England Conservatory of Music' 6. 'Art as a Form of Reality' 7. Jerusalem Lectures 1971 8. 'Art and Revolution' 9. 'Letters to the Surrealists' 10. Short Takes 11. Lyric Poetry After Auschwitz 12. Interview with Larry Hartwick: On the Aesthetic Dimension 13. Interview with Richard Kearney: The Philosophy of Art and Politics
Volume One: Technology, War and Fascism
Volume Two: Towards a Critical Theory of Society
Volume Three: The New Left and the 1960s
Volume Four: Art and Liberation
Volume Five: Philosophy, Psychoanalysis and Emancipation
Volume Six: Marxism, Revolution and Utopia
HERBERT MARCUSE (1898-1979) is an internationally renowned philosopher, social activist and theorist, and member of the Frankfurt School. He has been remembered as one of the most influential social critical theorists inspiring the radical political movements in the 1960s and 1970s. Author of numerous books including One-Dimensional Man, Eros and Civilisation, and Reason and Revolution, Marcuse taught at Columbia, Harvard, Brandeis University and the University of California before his death in 1979.
DOUGLAS KELLNER is George F. Kneller Chair in the Philosophy of Education at UCLA. He is author of many books on social theory, politics, history and culture, including Herbert Marcuse and the Crisis of Marxism, Media Culture and Critical Therory, Marxism and Modernity. His Critical Theory and Society: A Reader, co-edited with Stephen Eric Bronner, and recent book Media Spectacle, is also published by Routledge.