Richard Wagner as Subject of Friedrich Nietzsche's and Theodor W. Adorno's Enlightenments: Imran Hashmi

Wednesday 13 October 2021 (13:00-14:00)

IGES Doctoral Forum

The relationship between Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900) and Theodor W. Adorno (1903-1969) is well established. Critics have long read the thinkers’ writings against one another, and Adorno commented that Nietzsche was perhaps his most significant intellectual source. One of the most significant topics that Nietzsche and Adorno share is enlightenment.
Both thinkers carry out their investigations on a theoretical level, yet they notably have case study in common through which their ideas on enlightenment is expressed: the composer Richard Wagner (1813-1883).

This presentation will interrogate how Nietzsche’s and Adorno’s often paradoxical notions of enlightenment are presented in their writings on Wagner, and it will culminate in a comparison between the two thinkers.

This comparison will show that, even though Nietzsche’s and Adorno’s writings on Wagner touch upon common topics like mythology and language, they diverge from one another in several ways. Additionally, it will be shown that Adorno’s works on Wagner demonstrate more parallels with the Nietzsche of the 1870s than they do with the Nietzsche of the 1880s. This comparison will highlight the critical nature of Adorno’s engagement with Nietzsche as Adorno, rather than telling a story of passive reception.

All welcome!

The forum will take place online. To register and receive the Zoom link, please send an e-mail to: