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Joined 9 months, 2 weeks ago

silly little guy he/it

My languages in order of proficiency: German French English Chinese. The reason I read so much in English is only because most pirated epubs are in English. I have no consistent grading system, the stars are based on vibes, don't read into it. I am not a critic; my "reviews" simply document what it was like for me to read the book in question.

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possm's books

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Currently Reading

2024 Reading Goal

50% complete! possm has read 15 of 30 books.

Wolfgang Martynkewicz: Das Café der trunkenen Philosophen (German language, 2022, Aufbau-Verlag) 4 stars

Good if you're interested in that generation of German philosophers

4 stars

Interesting read, prose ok. One extremely funny recurring theme is how no one likes Adorno and how he calls everyone a fascist. I especially like the chapter where the author compares the theory of antisemitism in Dialectic of Enlightenment with Hannah Arendt's Origins of Totalitarianism, shows the similarities and where they diverge. Made me want to read both of these works.

I don't have a lot to say about this book? I had a good time and learned a lot. It's interesting how similar in concept and in title it is to the "Existentialist Café" that I read just a few months ago. In comparison, this one is less entertaining, a bit more serious, and way less opinionated (author invisible). I like them both.

A lecture from the 1960s about the then new NPD

3 stars

I guess the typical thing to focus on, and the reason why this lecture got made into a book half a century after it was held, would be how uncannily Adorno predicted certain developments, how prescient his analysis was, etc. I don't even want to argue against this reading, I just think it would be boring of me to point out the same things. It's partly true that Adorno makes some prescient points, and partly true that it's easy to make anything sound prescient in retrospect, that's why horoscopes are so popular. It's a good little text, Adorno's transcribed spoken word is easier to understand than his written works. It offers aspects of a theory of fascism, listing propaganda tactics. It's not groundbreaking but it's nice.

Stefan Muller-Doohm: Adorno (Paperback, 2005, Polity Press) 4 stars

Extremely thorough biography

4 stars

This is a long and thorough biography of Adorno that works well as an introduction to his philosophy. I feel like I learned a lot. The more theoretical passages went over my head, but I think the mind still retains something even of texts that are several levels too difficult. It's not a waste of time to read them, more or less attentively. I'm side-eyeing the biographer for conservative intuitions and misogyny. I'm especially surprised at his seeming lack of curiosity towards Gretel Adorno, who by his own account played a major part in TWA's writing process. Why does the biographer feel the need to tell us all about TWA's grandfather, several of his intellectual friends, etc, but next to nothing about who his wife was? Before reading this biography I felt unequipped to read any work of Adorno on my own - now I feel equipped for a few …

Tabatha Yeatts: Wiesel, Wiesenthal, Klarsfeld (2014, Enslow Publishers) 2 stars

"Discusses the experiences of people who survived the Holocaust, the trials of Nazi leaders at …

The aftermath of the Shoah explained to children

2 stars

I had this idea that a history book written for schoolchildren might make for a lighter and easier read. It turns out I didn't like this, but I'm not sure whether my idea was mistaken or whether this is simply a bad book. Honestly, I remember as a child how much I hated feeling like an author was talking down to me. I think this book would have given me this kind of feeling had I read it as a child. In the end it's like I read a couple wikipedia articles in Simple English. I did learn a few things but I also wasted a lot of time.