Published December 10, 2022 | Version v1
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"Comme l'esperance est violante". Hope and Utopia in Benjamin, Bloch and Adorno


Benjamin’s thinking on hope and utopia permeates his philosophical endeavours, from his earliest writings (Zwei Gedichte von Friedrich Hölderlin: “Dichtermut”–“Blödigkeit”, Theologisch-politisches Fragment, and Goethes Wahlverwandtschaften) to Über den Begriff der Geschichte. The fortitude of Bloch’s encyclopaedic work on utopia and hope, sustained in Geist der Utopie and Das Prinzip Hoffnung has been applauded by Benjamin. Adorno, who stated that everything he ever wrote was influenced by Geist der Utopie, presents an illuminating analysis of «the adventure story of the journey to utopia, whose radiant image Bloch would like to recapture». Bloch’s exploration of diverse historical conceptions of utopia from Thomas More to Marx has prompted Adorno to observe that Bloch has «unrolled a whole series of different types of utopian consciousness» and to conclude that «there is nothing like a fixable utopian content». Tracing the convergent and the divergent conceptions of hope and utopia in Bloch, Adorno, and Benjamin enhances the polyphony of utopian endeavours.


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