Arnon Grunberg



A friend sent me a quote from The Hall of Uselessness, collected essays, by Simon Leys: “Sometimes it takes a poet to deflate effectively the windy pronouncements of a philosopher. To Theodor Adorno, who declared that, after Auschwitz, no art was possible, Joseph Brodsky replied: ‘Indeed, not only art, but breakfast as well.”

This is not fair to Adorno, first of all this is not exactly what he wrote (“„Nach Auschwitz ein Gedicht zu schreiben, ist barbarisch”) but also because he is much more than just a pronouncer of windy statements. Needless to say that Brodsky’s intuition is accurate: it’s not always clear where breakfast ends and art begins.

(Ian Buruma reviewed "The Hall of Uselessness" -- read it here.)

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