One of T. W. Adorno’s greatest philosophical achievements,
The Philosophy ofModern Music, continues to be one of his most misunderstood. Many scholars take Adorno’s book literally although he never meant it to be perceived solely in that way. This study focuses on the literal, symbolic, and metaphorical dimensions of
The Philosophy of Modern Music. It explains Adorno’s cryptical style of writing and reveals how he uses the works of Schoenberg and Stravinsky to discuss kitsch and
avant-garde art during the rise of fascism in Germany. It also highlights Adorno’s subtle critique of the aesthetic ideas of Benjamin, Hegel, Freud, Jung, and others. Adorno intended
The Philosophy ofModern Music to be a
Flaschenpost, a message in a bottle, able to maintain its analytical rigor through time. This study shows that when one applies his insights from
The Philosophy of Modern Music to present-day cultural practices, they seem more relevant than ever.