"Adorno's Reading of 'Endgame': Between Autonomy and Authenticity"
Theodor W. Adorno's central philosophical contribution is the development of "negative dialectics." Negative dialectics, itself, emerges as the recognition of the crisis of what Adorno calls "metaphysical meaning" or the Hegelian idea that history can be understood as embodying a rational purpose. Such a crisis becomes especially acute when seen through autonomous artworks. In particular, this essay looks at the manner in which Samuel Beckett's "Endgame" becomes for Adorno the site of a dialectical as opposed to an existential reflection on the crisis of metaphysical meaning. That is to say rather than the manifestation of a timeless condition of "absurdity", "Endgame" itself embodies the catastrophic logic of natural-history.