Adornos text is a half-theological plea for transcendence. Both the historical situation of the Cold War and the dominance of aesthetic modernism have changed. How convincing are modernisms (aesthetical and political) axioms today? Does Adorno not overestimate the critical potential of heroic individualism?
These critical questions allow for a reconsideration of the literature theory of Luk√°cs: Narratives that restore social contexts; social coherence and horizons of concrete practical hope might still be useful to understand political dimensions of the literary process ‚Äď even if and especially because its political context (the communist bloc) and the historico-philosophical ideology (Stalinist determinism) has ceased to exist. The paper will discuss the question: Whats left (What remains? What might be connected to emancipatory politics?) of Luk√°cs literary theory after Stalinism?
My thesis will be that politics proper is rather based on narratives of social totality that make collective agency possible; than on the reflective potentials of the critical monad. But politics; this is my second claim; remains deficient if it is not also decentered by a critical potential of the aesthetic.